The competition watchdogs of Australia and Canada have given their green lights to tech giants Microsoft and Yahoo! to combine their search engine platforms, paving the way for a joint effort to take on web behemoth Google's supremacy in the field.
"Microsoft and Yahoo have been notified that Australian and Canadian authorities have separately concluded their reviews and have no objections to our proposed search agreement," a joint statement issued by the companies said.
''We continue to believe that this deal will create a true, competitive alternative in the marketplace that will benefit consumers, advertisers and publishers,'' it further stated.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Competition Bureau Canada are the first regulators in the world to approve the deal, and it is expected that further approvals from the US anti-trust regulators and the European Commission would be obtained by early next year.
The tech giants executed a 10-year no-cash deal in July, under which Microsoft was licensed to power Yahoo! search while Yahoo! agreed to become the exclusive relationship sales force for both companies' premium search advertisers. (See: Microsoft, Yahoo! agree on joint search)
Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo! is the leading global internet consumer brand while Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft is a world leader in software, services and solutions.
Bing, Microsoft's new search engine launched in May, soon topped Yahoo!'s Yahoo!7 to claim the number 2 position, but far below the market leader Google. (See: Bing overtakes Yahoo as No 2 search engine)