By Eric Auchard

April 7, Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO - Yahoo Inc on Sunday detailed plans for its forthcoming Web advertising management system that gives its ad sales-partners access to online ad space both on Yahoo and other major sites.

The widely anticipated system, known as AMP!, aims to simplify the process of buying and selling online ads for advertisers, ad agencies, fast-growing ad trading networks and Web site publishers.

The ad management system seeks to capitalize on Yahoo's strength as a Web site publisher that reaches 500 million Web users monthly and recent efforts to sell ads off of Yahoo through major partnerships or specialized ad-sales networks.

The planned advertising system, formerly code-named Apex, is the lynchpin of the company's strategy to reach outside its own base of users and increase its position as the "must buy" location for online advertisers.

While the strategy remains in its early stages, AMP! is one of the products which Yahoo management believes will help propel the Web pioneer's next wave of growth. It is also one factor behind Yahoo's reluctance to accept Microsoft Corp's unsolicited takeover bid currently valued at $42.4 billion, which executives believe undervalues the company's assets.

"This is really about creating a massively networked advertising ecosystem," Yahoo advertising executive Mike Walrath said in an interview. Walrath founded Right Media, an ad sales exchange, in 2003 and sold it to Yahoo last year.

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photo: The Yahoo logo is seen at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 7, 2008 (REUTERS/Rick Wilking)