Rivals flag up market share to fight Microsoft-Yahoo! merger

A successful Microsoft bid for Yahoo! would create an internet company with a three-quarters share in web mail and instant messaging – figures that rivals are expected to use in an attempt to derail any merger between the two companies.Microsoft and Yahoo! have roughly equal shares of the webmail market, with each attracting about 260 million visitors worldwide in January, according to data supplied by Comscore. Yahoo! Mail is the market leader, with Microsoft’s Windows Live Hotmail close behind.Together, after allowing for duplication, it is estimated the two companies would control 75 per cent of all web e-mail access, with 436 million visitors. Third-ranked Google, which runs the gmail service, attracted 90 million visitors in January. The total number of visitors to any mail site worldwide is put at 577 million.

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