It’s been a long and winding road for Yahoo and Microsoft since Redmond’s first attempt to buy Yahoo for $45 billion two years ago, which ended up in the two companies agreeing to a complicated search deal in July, 2009. Today, the last hurdle to that deal has been removed, with government regulators in both the U.S. (the DOJ) and Europe (the European Commission) approving the deal. Yahoo and Microsoft can finally get on with their lives.
Microsoft will take over Yahoo’s organic and paid search results and blend those resources into Bing. Yahoo will continue to control the front-end UI of search on Yahoo’s sites, and consumers will continue to see and be able to use the Yahoo search engine. The transition of the back-end search algorithms and results may still take until the end of 2010 to complete. Advertisers and Website partners which use Yahoo search may have to wait until after the 2010 holidays to be transitioned to Bing.
Since the deal was announced, Bing has been taking search share away from Yahoo. The question now is whether the combined scale of search across all of Yahoo and Bing can help Microsoft make a dent in Google’s dominance.