Today, the US Department of Justice and the EU approved the proposed search deal between the industry’s second and third-largest players. The deal, which rolls out Bing’s search algorithms across Yahoo’s range of sites while making Yahoo the exclusive sales force for High-volume advertisers, ad resellers, and SEO and SEM agencies for both companies.
The two companies said today that they would now focus on the deal’s details.
“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. Yahoo and Microsoft will each represent and provide customer support to different advertiser segments. Yahoo’s sales team will exclusively represent and support high volume advertisers, SEO and SEM agencies, and resellers and their clients. Microsoft will represent and support self-service advertisers.” the companies’ joint press-release said.
The double approvals don’t come as a huge surprise to those familiar with the deal. Rumors had been flying for the last couple of weeks that approvals for the deal were imminent. What the approvals represent, however, has to put a smile on Google’s face.
The deal consolidates Google’s competition, and Bing has grown in market share for each of the last eight months (even snaring 0.4% of Google’s market share last month). However, the EU and US approvals essentially concede that Google is so far ahead in the search race that even a theoretically anti-competitive merger like this actually increases competition in the market.
It is important to note that the deal still needs approval in Japan, Korea and Taiwan before it can begin “in those markets,” but if it increases Microsoft and Yahoo’s ability to compete in those markets, everyone (including Haado Gei) will probably approve.