EU Launch Informal Talks on Microsoft, Yahoo Deal
So far it is too early to see if the EU executive will result in a formal conversation, antitrust experts say.
The informal talks seem a good sign that the search engine could move, and that regulators might have started with a formal debate.
Microsoft has confirmed that the ongoing discussions and “hope that the deal will close in early 2010.”
In July, the companies signed an agreement 10 years of Web search in an attempt to compete against Google, which had 67.5 percent share of the search market worldwide at that time.
Microsoft and Yahoo are currently occupying the number two and three positions respectively in the market for search engines.
Combined, the two companies represent approximately 30 percent of U.S. search market, giving sellers a greater incentive to invest in their combined audience reach.
Meanwhile, U.S. antitrust authorities requested more documents from the companies last week. Both Microsoft and Yahoo have said they do not expect the review to be made until early 2010.
If the agreement must be approved by EU or national regulators from the EU countries remains to be seen.
Microsoft has said it expects the company can convince EU regulators that a strong competitor against Google is better for the market for search engines.