Posted December 7, 2009 1:35 pm by with 0 comments

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Friday brought Microsoft and Yahoo one step closer to the search deal they announced in July. The terms of the deal received final approval from two very important groups—Microsoft and Yahoo.

Although the two were supposed to have the details hammered out by late October, they took a few extra weeks to refine their agreement. This agreement still needs regulatory approval, and such agencies as the US Department of Justice are on the record as saying they will scrutinize the deal closely.

Meanwhile, the deal isn’t projected to warrant much concern from the European Commission—but the DOJ is probably the bigger concern. Not only are both companies headquartered in the US, but also scrutiny from the Department of Justice—and threats of anti-trust action—ultimately killed a search ad deal between Yahoo and Google last year—will the Bingahoo deal suffer the same fate?

Should the DOJ treat Microsoft and Yahoo differently since they’re not the dominant search engine, or would that be unfair? Is the Yahoo-Microsoft deal the lesser of two evils, and the only chance to unseat Google in the near future? Or does the deal merit more scrutiny from the DoJ?