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Microsoft and Yahoo! discussing partnership with European regulators

Given its past history with European regulators, it's not surprising to read a report by Computerworld that Microsoft is proceeding very cautiously in its search engine partnership that will see Yahoo! use Microsoft's Bing technology to power its search engine while Yahoo! will use its ad sales acumen for both companies.

Both companies have approached European Union regulators to explore whether the deal is simply a partnership or constitutes a merger. If it's the latter, then regulators would need to initiate a formal merger probe before approving it. If Microsoft incorrectly assumed that the deal was a partnership while the EU considered it a merger, the company could be subject to fines.
An anonymous source told Computerworld that the U.S. Department of Justice has asked the two companies for further information about their planned arrangement, but that the situation in Europe is very different.

"Google isn't as powerful in the U.S. as it is in Europe, where it has a 90% share of the market for Internet search," explained the source, and continued by noting that Google's market share stands at 75% in the U.S.

-Richard Manfredi


Sep 18, 2009