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5. Yahoo!

Yahoo! Inc. provides various online products and services to consumers and businesses worldwide through its site, yahoo.com. Its global network includes 25 properties in 13 languages. Other products and services include Yahoo! Search, Yahoo! Local, Yahoo! Autos, Yahoo! Shopping, Yahoo! Auctions, Yahoo! Travel and Yahoo! HotJobs. There's also its new online music subscription service, which gives customers access to 1 million songs.

The Yahoo! brand posted a growth of 34%.

Founded by David Filo and Jerry Yang in 1994, Yahoo! is headquartered in California. Four years after taking over as CEO, Terry S Semel has placed it on the fast track, with major acquisitions and efforts to develop deeper relationships with users.

Companies like Google may be big competitors, but Yahoo! must be doing something right. In 2004 alone, it bolstered its number of paying customers by 71 per cent, to 8.4 million. Current brand value stands at $6.8 billion, with brand sales at $3.6 billion.

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