Microsoft, Yahoo deal wins EU approval
Microsoft has won European Union approval to buy Yahoo!’s web-search business to speed up its effort to compete with Google.
The deal won’t harm competition in the EU, the European Commission said in an emailed statement from Brussels today.
Groups such as advertisers and online publishers expect the deal to “increase competition in internet search and search advertising by allowing Microsoft to become a stronger competitor to Google,” the regulator said in the statement.
The software company is joining forces with Yahoo to take on Google, with Yahoo using Microsoft’s Bing on its sites and selling ads next to the search results.
The companies said in December that they are “hopeful” the 10-year agreement can be completed in early 2010.
While Google is maintaining its dominance in the search industry, Bing has increased its market share for eight straight months.
Microsoft plans to claim more of the market when it completes its search agreement with Yahoo. That would let the two companies mount a bigger challenge to Google.
Yahoo Chief Executive Officer Carol Bartz struck the web search and advertising deal with Microsoft in July, letting it cut capital spending by a projected $200m. Bartz is striving to keep Yahoo’s 15-year-old site relevant in an era of Twitter and Facebook.