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Bing Annoys MSN Partners

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Hearst and BermanBraun declined to comment for this story. Philippe Guelton, however, Hachette’s evp and COO, painted Glo as a soaring success. “Glo is profitable and we are sold out,” he said. “We are looking into expanding into Asia and Europe.”

Insiders say that while MSN’s partners are now being tended to better—particularly since global ad sales chief Carolyn Everson took up the cause in a big way—the issue remains.

“The revenue numbers are fine, but Bing is sucking the life out of MSN,” said a person with knowledge of the situation. Last Friday, for example, the top panel image on the MSN home page read, “This Week in Search,” while a section on the right side of the page featured 14 different links to Bing searches at the expense of MSN channels and partner sites.

Microsoft is clearly going to have to juggle its priorities. “This is something they need to decide on the corporate level,” said one close observer. Said another: “What does it say about Bing that they have to do this at the expense of MSN? Especially as the display market heats up?”

Microsoft execs declined to comment, but in a statement, Adam Sohn, the company’s senior director, online services, said: “Microsoft is investing more than ever in the success of its online services, including MSN and Bing. Content and partnerships remain a critical part of this strategy, as is a healthy and growing search business.”