Microsoft (site) and Yahoo! (site) have been given the final approval by the EU to go ahead with a partnership that was agreed to last July. That partnership will see Yahoo’s search results being powered by Microsoft Bing for a cut of the ad revenues.
The deal has also been agreed to by US regulators without any conditions seeing the two take control of 30% of the search market — the other 70% of which is controlled by Google.
A joint statement by the companies said: "While Microsoft will provide the underlying platform, both companies will continue to create different, compelling and evolving experiences, competing for audience, engagement and clicks."
By combining the two, Yahoo! will take over the search advertising work of Microsoft saving them the cost of running huge spidering centers, while Bing will provide all the links for every Yahoo search.
Like all such deals at the moment, the original agreement announced last summer is designed to cut costs for both companies and increase revenue share, which should see some improvement as the combined networks should be considerably more attractive to advertisers than they would be operating on their own.
Microsoft and Yahoo will begin the transition of algorithmic search and have set a goal of completing that effort in at least the United States by the end of 2010.
The companies also said they hope to make significant progress transitioning U.S. advertisers and publishers prior to the 2010 holiday season, but may wait until 2011 if they determine that the transition will be more effective after the holiday season.
All global customers and partners are expected to be transitioned by early 2012.