Microsoft has said that it has been given unconditional approval from regulators in Europe and the United States to combine its search facilities.
The deal, approved without restrictions by both the US Department of Justice and the European Commission, would mean that Microsoft's Bing would become the search engine for both sites, challenging Google's monopoly.
A statement by both companies said that they would ‘now turn their attention to beginning the process of implementing the deal'.
Once the transition is in place, 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.
Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said: “This breakthrough search alliance means Yahoo can focus even more on our own innovative search experience. Yahoo gets to do what we do best: combine our science and technology with compelling content to build personally relevant online experiences for our users and customers.”
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said: “Although we are just at the beginning of this process, we have reached an exciting milestone. I believe that together, Microsoft and Yahoo will promote more choice, better value and greater innovation to our customers as well as to advertisers and publishers.”
Meanwhile, Google has announced that it has acquired reMail, the creator of an iPhone application that allows Apple users to access their inboxes.
Gabor Cselle, founder of reMail, said that he was thrilled to announce the acquisition and confirmed that he would be joining Google as a product manager on the Gmail team.
He said: “Gmail is where my obsession with email started as an engineering intern back in 2004, and I'm thrilled to be coming back to a place with so many familiar faces. ReMail's goal was re-imagine mobile email, and I'm proud we have built a product that so many users find useful.
“Still, I feel like we've only seen the beginning of what's possible. Google is the best place in the world to improve the status quo on how people communicate and share information. If you have what it takes to make these changes happen, I encourage you to reach out and come join me.”
He confirmed that Google and reMail have decided to discontinue reMail's iPhone application, and that has been removed from the App Store. Support will be provided for users until the end of March.