Vodafone is to axe its exclusive sales agreement with Yahoo when the two-year deal ends in June.
The operator will now look to a variety of mobile sales networks as it attempts to grow its ad revenues from as many partners as possible.
It may still work with Yahoo, but this it will no longer be on an exclusive basis.
The strategy follows a restructure after the operator made its head of mobile advertising Shan Henderson redundant in March.
Vodafone first started backtracking on the exclusivity period in November when Sky started selling around its own inventory on the Vodafone Live portal (nma 13 November 2008).
A source at the operator ended weeks of speculation and confirmed the exclusivity period between the two would end in June. “We might collaborate but it won’t have exclusivity,” he said, adding it had no plans for an in-house sales team.
Although Vodafone executives have publicly backed the deal, there have been rumblings of discontent from sources at the operator about the agreement for several months.
The decision is a blow to Yahoo, which welcomed its new CEO Carol Bartz and senior VP of Yahoo Mobile David Ko this year. In February it launched a new version of Yahoo Mobile which brought together its range of mobile services.
Last week Vodafone rolled out a beta trial of an online portal which lets visitors personalise content that can be viewed via either PC or mobile.
Yahoo would only state it “continued to work with Vodafone”.