Remember that proposed Microsoft Yahoo search and advertising deal? It's still awaiting regulatory approval, but it might be a step closer to its destiny soon, no matter which way it goes.
The European Commission has set a deadline for a decision on approval of Microsoft's bid (via Reuters). The date is February 19, or exactly a month from today. The deadline was published yesterday within a list of other deadlines for other deals.
Also published was the "description of the concentration" (pdf), which states:
The notification concerns the acquisition of control by Microsoft Corporation (U.S.A.) of Yahoo! Inc.’s (U.S.A.) online web-wide algorithmic search and paid search advertising business under the terms described in the Letter Agreement of 29 July 2009, the Search and Advertising Services and Sales Agreement and the License Agreement agreed between the parties on 4 December 2009 by way of transfer of certain assets and employees. Yahoo! will continue to innovate by delivering its own user search experience that incorporates the search results provided by Microsoft’s search platform.
The deal was first announced back in the summer, though it wasn't finalized until December, when the two companies announced that it was pending regulatory approval. Yahoo has said (as the above description appears to confirm) that it will continue to do its own thing on the front end user interface while Microsoft's Bing will power the behind the scenes functionality of the search engine.