UPDATE: As stated in a press release a Microsoft representative emailed to WebProNews, "Microsoft (Nasdaq 'MSFT') and Yahoo! (Nasdaq 'YHOO') 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."
Also, "The companies will begin the transition of algorithmic search and have set a goal of completing that effort in at least the United States by the end of 2010. The companies also hope to make significant progress transitioning U.S. advertisers and publishers prior to the 2010 holiday season, but may wait until 2011 if they determine that the transition will be more effective after the holiday season. All global customers and partners are expected to be transitioned by early 2012."
Original article: Microsoft and Yahoo may, at long last, be allowed to move forward with their search and advertising partnership. A new report claims that the United States Department of Justice is more or less on the verge of approving the deal.
Josh Kosman and Holly Sanders Ware spoke to "a person familiar with the matter," and this source said, "There's nothing coming of the DOJ investigation. This is very easy."
As a result, Kosman and Sanders wrote, "Justice officials are expected within the next 20 days to 30 days to approve without conditions the search pact between Ballmer's Microsoft and Bartz's Yahoo!"
This should clear the way for the two companies to get on with things. The Australian and Canadian governments authorized the partnership in late November, and European approval is supposed to come later this week.
Interestingly, investors don't seem all that excited about the possibility of a green light; shares of Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft are all down a bit at the moment. To be fair, though, the report on the subject almost qualifies as breaking news, so it may be that word hasn't spread too far just yet.