SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. could announce a decision to walk away from their search deal by the middle of next week, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.
The two Internet companies have so far failed to reach an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice on implementing their search advertising partnership.
Earlier this month, the companies said they had decided to delay implementing the controversial deal, struck in June, due to ongoing discussions with regulators.
The deal, which allows Google to sell advertising for some of Yahoo's online advertising space, has drawn fierce criticism from advertisers, who fear higher prices.
Google and Yahoo together owned more than 80 percent of the web-search market in August, according to comScore Inc.
A source told Reuters at the time that the delay was expected to last less than a month.
But following a Thursday meeting with the Justice Department, the companies could decide to back away or announce a last-minute resolution -- if one is reached -- by next week, the Journal reported.