Microsoft and Yahoo! said Thursday they would forge ahead with their planned tie-up in Internet search after winning antitrust clearance from the United States and European Union.
The two companies said they had "received clearance for their search agreement, without restrictions, from both the US Department of Justice and the European Commission, and will now turn their attention to beginning the process of implementing the deal."
The European Commission earlier Thursday announced it had approved software giant Microsoft's plan to acquire Yahoo!'s Internet search and advertising business, a move aimed at challenging search market leader Google.
The partners said they expected to begin implementing the deal "in the coming days."
The transition will involve moving Yahoo!'s search platforms to Microsoft, with Yahoo! running sales relations with both companies' premium search advertisers globally.
All global customers and partners are expected to be transitioned by early 2012, they said.
"Once the transition is completed, the companies' unified search marketplace will deliver improved innovation for consumers, better volume and efficiency for advertisers and better monetization opportunities for web publishers through a platform that contains a larger pool of search queries," the companies said in a joint statement.
Yahoo! and Microsoft announced in December that they had finalized the details of an Internet search and advertising partnership - a year after Microsoft offered 47.5 billion dollars in a takeover bid for Yahoo!.
Analysts are divided on how much closer the tie-up will take either company to powerhouse Google, the overwhelming leader in a web search and advertising market which the research firm Forrester estimates will be worth more than 30 billion dollars (22 billion euros) in 2014 in the United States alone.
Microsoft and Yahoo! said Thursday that they continue to work with regulators in South Korea, Taiwan and Japan to provide all relevant information necessary for them to evaluate the transaction before the deal is launched in those countries.Reuse content