Microsoft/Yahoo Search Deal Finalized, Still Faces Government Scrutiny

Given the flurry of reports last summer about the Yahoo/Microsoft search deal, it would have been reasonable to assume that the two parties had actually completed their negotiations. As it turns out, the details of the deal had yet to be worked out. Today, Yahoo and Microsoft have issued a joint statement announcing that they’ve “finalized and executed the definitive Search and Advertising Services and Sales Agreement and License Agreement.” From the release:

“Microsoft and Yahoo! believe that this deal will create a sustainable and more compelling alternative in search that can provide consumers, advertisers and publishers real choice, better value, and more innovation.

“Yahoo! and Microsoft welcome the broad support the deal has received from key players in the advertising industry and remain hopeful that the closing of the transaction can occur in early 2010.”

Of course, the deal is still under investigation by the Department of Justice, so nothing is in the bag yet.