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Microsoft-Yahoo! partnership delayed until 2010

November 5, 2009
The search deal between Microsoft and Yahoo! has been postponed until early 2010.

The partnership that will see Microsoft's Bing search engine power Yahoo! search was announced in July, and was expected to be closed by October 27. However, according to The Telegraph, the agreement is taking longer to cement and is now predicted to be finalised early next year.

Microsoft has thus far declined to comment on the postponement, but Yahoo! has been more communicative, stating: "Given the complex nature of the transaction, there remain some details to be finalised.

"The parties are working diligently on finalising the agreements, have made good progress to date, and have agreed to execute the agreements as expeditiously as possible."

A spokesperson for Yahoo! subsequently revealed: "Both companies are optimistic that we will be able to close this deal by early 2010."

The first indication that the deal would take longer to go ahead than planned came when Yahoo! filed a statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. As a partnership between two major companies operating in the same market, the deal will need to be approved by both a US regulator and European regulators before it can go ahead, which could prove to be a time-consuming process.

Analysts are not surprised that the deal is taking longer than planned. Head of internet at Enders Analysis, Ian Maude, explains: "It is a challenge to get two former rivals to work together - both culturally and technologically. And the intense regulatory oversight of a deal, which has a lot of moving parts, is gruelling to prepare for."

When the partnership is finalised, it will see the combined force of Microsoft and Yahoo! providing a significant challenge to Google's current dominance of the search engine market. The latest statistics from Net Applications has found that Google's market share for October 2009 accounted for 84.5 per cent of all searches, while Bing and Yahoo! achieved 3.5 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively.


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