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Bing Will Be Profitable, Microsoft Exec Says

REDMOND, Wash (TheStreet) -- Microsoft's (MSFT) Bing search engine can be a viable runner-up to Google (GOOG) and will make money eventually, a company executive tells Reuters.

Microsoft has lost $5 billion building the online business over the past four years and hopes to reverse the trend following a search advertising partnership with Yahoo! (YHOO), Reuters reports.

"As soon as we close and implement the Yahoo! deal, we have achieved a milestone: for advertisers, we are a credible No. 2," Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president of Microsoft's online audience business, told Reuters.

"Really now, the goal is about share gain. If we grow share, we will grow our way into profitability, and we have confidence we can do that," Mehdi said. He added in the interview that "there's no question we intend to make a profit."

Microsoft currently has 10.7% of the U.S. search marketplace, according to ComScore, up from 8% before Bing's launch in June, Reuters adds. It still trails Google's 65.7% and Yahoo!'s 17.3% share.

Following the Yahoo! deal, which makes Bing the underlying search engine for Yahoo!, Microsoft could effectively control almost 30% of the search market, Reuters reports.

"At 30 points we are now a credible option, so that number matters," said Mehdi. "The nice thing is we can say (to advertisers) you can be close to 30% share in one easy buy. That 30% carries a lot of weight in the marketplace."

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