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Yahoo buys Jybe in user customization move

A Yahoo sign outside the company's headquarters in

A Yahoo sign outside the company's headquarters in Sunnyvale, Calif. (July 18, 2006) Photo Credit: Getty Images

Yahoo! Inc., the largest U.S. Web portal, said it acquired Jybe Inc., which offers personalized recommendations for users based on data from social networks.

Terms of the deal aren't being disclosed, Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo said Wednesday in a statement. Separately, Yahoo is in talks to buy a stake of as much as 75 percent in France Telecom SA's Dailymotion video site, which is valued at about $300 million, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, citing unidentified people.

Chief Executive Marissa Mayer is focusing Yahoo on providing Web services that are customized for individual users, and aims to add engineers by buying small technology startups, she said on a conference call last year. Yahoo has acquired at least five such teams -- including Stamped Inc., OntheAir, and Alike -- since Mayer took over in July.

Yahoo is taking on five Jybe employees, all of whom once worked for the Internet portal, Yahoo Senior Vice President Jay Rossiter said in a blog post Wednesday.

One of them, Arnab Bhattacharjee, formerly led Yahoo's search technology, "one of the most well-respected engineering and platforms groups in the company," Rossiter said.

Tom Wright, a France Telecom spokesman in Paris, declined to comment on a possible sale of Dailymotion. Sara Gorman, a spokeswoman for Yahoo, also wouldn't discuss potential deals.

Mayer has said she sees the company building sites and technologies that are daily habits for consumers, such as checking e-mail and stock tickers. In January, she said she's focused on technology that will personalize content from the Web and deliver it to people on their handheld devices.

"We think about how do we take the Internet and order it for you," Mayer said. Yahoo intends to be "a feed of information that is ordered, the Web is ordered for you and is also on your mobile phone."

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