The landmark search deal between Yahoo and Microsoft appears to have taken a giant leap forward. According to Yahoo, sources familiar with the situation are saying that the EU will grant unconditional approval for the partnership.
The EU set a deadline of February 19th to either approve or block the deal. The approval of the EU will be a major milestone for the deal as the EU has not always been so kind to Microsoft.
Experts on the matter had suggested that the EU would not block the deal because of Google’s current dominance of the marketplace. Google currently commands 90% of the online search market while a combined Yahoo and Microsoft deal would only give Microsoft 7.4% of all searches.
If the deal does finally become a reality, Microsoft’s search engine will replace Yahoo’s own search engine on Yahoo.com. Microsoft is hoping that with greater visibility of the Bing name, it will be able to claw back some market share from Google.
Up until now, Microsoft has failed to be a serious competitor in the search market place because its previous offerings had fallen short on search accuracy. Although, Bing, Microsoft’s newest search engine, is gaining some momentum but it should be noted that Microsoft has been on a strong marketing push for the platform.
As this deal comes to a close, we will lose one more option for search on the web. For the most part, it will now be Microsoft vs. Google, a battle of corporate giants competing for your web searches.