Yahoo! and eBay have announced wide-ranging plans to unite in the face of internet giant Google.
The two California-based internet firms, announcing what they describe as a "multi-year strategic partnership", said they would engage in a testing period for their new co-operative measures before implementing their plans fully next year.
Among the proposed initiatives are a "co-branded toolbar" and a "click-to-call" feature, while search and graphical payments and online payments options will also be explored.
Meg Whitman, eBay's president and chief executive officer, said her company was "thrilled to be working more closely with Yahoo!," describing the link-up as "a great opportunity to benefit our communities and grow our businesses".
Yahoo!'s chairman and chief executive officer, Terry Semel, agreed, highlighting the advantages which its customers would encounter: "Our consumers will benefit from the combination of Yahoo! and eBay's leading technology and services, providing them with one of the best online experiences," he said.
"This partnership with eBay provides us with a great opportunity to further extend our sponsored search and graphical advertising reach to one of the largest and most active communities on the Web."
Commentators have suggested that the move is an attempt to unite in the face of a much bigger fish, Google, whose expanding businesses threaten to overwhelm competitors in the turbulent waters of internet commerce.
In response to yesterday's announcement shares in both companies rallied, with eBay up 12.19 per cent by the end of trading on the Nasdaq exchange and Yahoo also up by 3.6 per cent.