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Yahoo! Is Switzerland, and That's a Good Thing

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- On Tuesday the Wall Street Journal's Amir Efrati and Jessica Lessin reported that Yahoo! (YHOO - Get Report) was in talks with Apple's (AAPL) Eddy Cue to increase their partnership around providing key content to iOS users via Siri and possibly other ways.

Such a partnership makes a whole lot of sense for both sides, which I'll discuss in a second. However, it's also worth pointing out that Yahoo! has officially become Switzerland in the Valley.

At the moment, Yahoo! is currently partnered with Microsoft (MSFT) for Web search, Google (GOOG) for mobile search, Facebook (FB) for social bar and tentpole events, and Apple for Siri, Stocks, and Weather. No other company in the Valley could pull that off if it tried.

Oh, and don't forget, Yahoo! Mail announced last week that it is partnering with Dropbox for increased user storage.

The fact that Yahoo! is partnering like this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. Marissa Mayer spelled out as much during an hour long interview she did in Davos with Erik Schatzker of Bloomberg. She said then that only Yahoo! is in the position to be able to do this and so would leverage it for all it's worth.

Lately, some have criticized Mayer for not articulating her turnaround strategy, pointing out that it's going to be her one-year anniversary of her hiring in July and she's yet to spell things out.

Yet, did Tim Armstrong preface the quadrupling in AOL's (AOL) stock price with an explicit public discussion of a new strategy? Not really. He just started doing stuff: cutting headcount, increasing stock buybacks, negotiating a patent buy from Microsoft and using that to buy back more shares.

To my eyes, Mayer is simply executing as well. And if she does a deal with Apple, will anyone care about the criticism that she didn't articulate her strategy first? Certainly the Yahoo! shareholders won't care one iota.

As to a potential deal between Apple and Yahoo!, both need the other.

It seems like they're focusing on Siri to start. That makes most sense for now. There's so much content that Yahoo! can help deliver to Siri. It began last year when Siri integrated sports scores and standings from Yahoo! into Siri results. That was helpful for users, but there's so much more potential for future content to which Yahoo! has access to tap.
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