Microsoft, Yahoo search deal gets go-ahead

Firms hope to have Microsoft Bing running on Yahoo by year's end

Microsoft and Yahoo announced this morning that both the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission have approved an agreement between the two firms to have Microsoft's Bing search engine power Yahoo's sites.

The companies said today that engineers will begin adapting Bing for the Yahoo site "in the coming days" and that they hope work is completed, at least the United States, by the end of this year.

"Although we are just at the beginning of this process, we have reached an exciting milestone," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, in a statement. "I believe that together, Microsoft and Yahoo will promote more choice, better value and greater innovation to our customers, as well as to advertisers and publishers."

The partnership, which also entails Yahoo selling premium search advertising services for both companies, is a frontal assault on rival Google, which has long dominated the search market. More than 64% share of worldwide searches use Google, according to multiple research firms.

Neither Microsoft or Yahoo has had much success separately.

"This breakthrough search alliance means Yahoo can focus even more on our own innovative search experience," said Yahoo CEO Bartz in a statement. "Yahoo gets to do what we do best: combine our science and technology with compelling content to build personally relevant online experiences for our users and customers."

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, send e-mail to or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed .

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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