Yahoo stops offering AOL MapQuest map service

Yahoo! said Thursday that it has stopped offering AOL's popular MapQuest service on its site, and instead has built its own service offering consumers driving directions and street locaters.

Yahoo, which is reviewing all its services to see how it can make more money from them, said it decided it made sense to bring its maps technology in-house, so it could better integrate it with other site features such as Yellow Pages.

Yahoo denied suggestions by a number of analysts that Yahoo may have dropped AOL after being unable to agree on licensing terms, or that it was seeking to limit the reach of its rival AOL.

Yahoo has offered MapQuest on its site for the past four years, however terms of its licensing deal with AOL have never been disclosed.

Yahoo's director of business development, Andrew Braccia, said that they have spent the second half of last year building its own maps service, which is similar in design to AOL's MapQuest. He said people who use the popular service are not likely to notice much difference.

In addition to the total traffic numbers, the maps service is regarded as one of the "stickier" features on Yahoo, that keeps consumers coming back. The service instantly locates an address on a map and provides driving directions, which many drivers find preferable to negotiating a paper map at the steering wheel.

News source: Reuters

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