BT is to replace Yahoo Mail with its own email service for its six million broadband customers after complaints about hijacked accounts.
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Since February, BT customers have complained through BT’s online forums that hackers are repeatedly hijacking accounts to use them to distribute spam emails.
Subscribers to Telecom NZ, which has a similar outsourced email deal, reported similar security breaches, the paper said.
BT is aiming to make the switch as easy as possible, pledging to move all email folders to the new service and allow users to keep the same email address.
BT Mail is to be run by California-based email provider Critical Path.
The move comes as Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer begins to ramp up her strategy to reverse the company’s flagging fortunes in the face of competition from Google and Facebook.
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A key part of her task is reversing the decline in traffic to Yahoo’s email service and home page, which account for most of the company’s advertising revenue.
But BT’s move will mean that in addition to losing six million email accounts, Yahoo will also lose traffic to its home page with the closure of the BT Yahoo portal website.
BT plans to replace the BT Yahoo homepage with a BT.com website, which will feature breaking news.
BT’s decision indicates that Mayer will have to do more than revamp the look of Yahoo Mail and release new versions of the mail service for smartphones and tablets to win back lost ground.
The largest of these has been the $1.1bn deal agreed in May to acquire blogging service Tumblr.
On taking over the role of CEO, Mayer said her top priority was to create a coherent mobile strategy to reverse years of declining key display advertising revenue.