This week, Microsoft
and Yahoo also received clearance from the European Commission
, the European
Union's antitrust regulatory body, and the U.S. Department of Justice to
complete their proposed 10-year search and advertising deal.
Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will take over
Yahoo's algorithmic and paid search platforms while Yahoo tackles
sales-relationship duties for a portion of both companies' online search
advertisers. Although Bing will become Yahoo's underlying search engine, Yahoo
will continue to offer its own branded content and applications.
"After a thorough review of the evidence, the division has
determined that the proposed transaction is not likely to substantially lessen
competition in the United States, and therefore is not likely to harm the users
of Internet search, paid search advertisers, Internet publishers, or
distributors of search and paid search advertising technology," the Department
of Justice's Antitrust Division announced in a Feb. 18 statement. "In addition,
the proposed agreement likely will enable more rapid improvements in the
performance of Microsoft's search and paid search advertising technology than
would occur if Microsoft and Yahoo were to remain separate."
The European Commission echoed that sentiment.
Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation
proposed acquisition of the Internet
search and search advertising business of Yahoo Inc. by Microsoft," the group
wrote in a Feb. 18 statement. "The Commission concluded that the concentration
would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic
Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it."
According to a joint statement issued by both Yahoo and Microsoft on Feb. 18,
the companies hope to transition U.S.-based advertisers and publishers before
holiday 2010, but "may wait until 2011 if they determine the transition will be
more effective after the holiday season." In any case, the transition of all
global customers and partners is happen by early 2012.
Yahoo and Microsoft trail Google in their respective portions of the U.S.
search market, with Yahoo claiming 15.3 percent in December 2009, ahead of Bing
with 10.4 percent but behind Google with 65.4 percent.
confirmed that the Blue Screen of Death issue
, reported last
week, was linked to malware.
"The restarts are the result of modifications the Alureon rootkit makes to
Windows Kernel binaries, which places these systems in an unstable state," wrote
Mike Reavey, director of the Microsoft Security Response Center. "In every
investigated incident, we have not found quality issues with security update
MS10-015." Alureon attempts to access a specific memory location; the issue
primarily affected 32-bit machines, according to Microsoft.
But for Microsoft, it was smartphones, and not PCs, that remained the primary
focus of the week.