Microsoft and Yahoo! announced today that they have received clearance for their search agreement, without restrictions, from both the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission, and will now turn their attention to beginning the process of implementing the deal.
Implementation of the deal is expected to begin in the coming days and will involve transitioning Yahoo!'s algorithmic and paid search platforms to Microsoft, with Yahoo! becoming the exclusive relationship sales force for both companies' premium search advertisers globally.
"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 statement.
"This breakthrough search alliance means Yahoo! can focus even more on our own innovative search experience," said Yahoo! Chief Executive Officer Carol Bartz. "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."
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer concurred with Bartz's assessment. "Although we are just at the beginning of this process, we have reached an exciting milestone," Ballmer said. "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."
Under terms of the agreement, which was announced in late July 2009, Microsoft will provide Yahoo! with the same search result listings available through Bing, and Yahoo! will integrate Yahoo! content, enhanced listings with organized information about key topics, and tools to tailor the experience for Yahoo! users.
Microsoft is hoping that by making itself a single conduit for advertisers to access customers on both sites, it will become a credible alternative to Google.