Friday, April 24, 2009

Yahoo to close GeoCities, other services in revamp

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Yahoo to close GeoCities, other services in revamp

* Posted on - Thu Apr 23, 2009 8:19PM EDT
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Yahoo Inc. said Thursday it plans to close GeoCities, a Web site publishing and hosting service it bought in May 1999 at the height of the dot-com boom for around $3 billion in stock.

The service will be shut down later this year. Visitors to the site now see a message that says new GeoCities accounts will not be available and gives them the option to sign up for Yahoo's Web hosting service for $5.98 a month.

It is not clear when Yahoo made the move, but a spokesman said in an e-mailed statement that the decision was recent.

GeoCities is not the only Yahoo service to get the ax — Yahoo Briefcase, Farechase, My Web, RSS ads, Yahoo Pets, Yahoo Live, Kickstart and Yahoo For Teachers all are being eliminated as well. The search giant also recently outsourced Launchcast radio to CBS Corp.

"As part of Yahoo's ongoing effort to build products and services that deliver the best possible experiences for consumers and results for advertisers, we are increasing investment in some areas while scaling back in others," the statement said.

The trimming is part of a process that started in 2007 while Jerry Yang was still chief executive, to close down services that aren't profitable or don't fit into company's long-term vision.

The revamp has accelerated under new CEO Carol Bartz, who was hired in January.

In a sign of its ongoing troubles, Yahoo said Tuesday that it will lay off nearly 700 workers, the company's third round of job cuts during the past 14 months.

Yahoo earned $118 million, or 8 cents per share, during the first three months of the year. That represents a 78 percent drop from net income of $537 million, or 37 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue fell 13 percent to $1.58 billion.

Yahoo shares rose 7 cents Thursday to close at $14.55.

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