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Yahoo makes its Google search advertising agreement public

A copy of the controversial search advertising agreement--albeit a heavily redacted version--is released in an SEC filing, marking the first public unveiling of the deal's specifics.

Updated August 9 at 10:21 a.m. PDT, with more perspective on the agreement.

Yahoo on Friday released a copy of its controversial search advertising partnership agreement with Google, marking the first time details of the deal have been made publicly available.

But before laying your hands on a copy of the document, be forewarned that it is heavily redacted.

For example, a number of entire sections and their headings that explain how the deal will work are completely redacted, such as sections 2.1.4, 2.1.7, 2.3, 2.12, 2.13, 2.14, and 2.16.

The agreement was included as an exhibit to Yahoo's quarterly financial statement, which the Internet search pioneer filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Yahoo's advertising partnership with Google is currently receiving a formal review by the U.S. Department of Justice, which is examining whether the deal will raise antitrust issues. Meanwhile, various attorneys general are also investigating the deal for possible antitrust violations, including those in Connecticut, Florida, and Arkansas. Congress held a hearing last month to discuss the agreement, although it has no regulatory powers to either bless or nix the deal.

Under the agreement, Yahoo will serve up Google's advertisements alongside its own search results. Yahoo has previously said it does not believe its open-ended deal is anticompetitive, citing it is under no obligation to run a certain number of Google's ads, or give its competitor's ads favorable placement on its search results pages.

Microsoft, however, contends the deal is anticompetitive in that it pushes two of the top three players in the Internet search advertising market together.

And in addition to the antitrust issues, legislators have raised concerns about potential privacy concerns regarding the search advertising partnership.

But the agreement redacts sections 6.6 and 6.7 and their subheadings on how information, such as users' personal information, will be used used. And information relating to whether privacy protections exist in the agreement is difficult to ascertain looking at the document, given the place where it would most likely appear, sections 1.73-1.75, is completely redacted.

Yahoo, however, on Friday announced it would provide users with an opt-out capability from its customized advertising feature on That decision was in response to a congressional inquiry and a letter sent by the House Energy and Commerce Committee to 34 companies about privacy protections made available to users in targeted advertising and whether they are given the option to opt out of such programs.

CNET News reporter Ina Fried contributed to this story.