A unified search system is coming together between once-bitter rivals Microsoft and Yahoo, as they team up to compete against the mammoth search leader Google.
As of today, the US Department of Justice and the European Commission have approved the partnership, dismissing any antitrust or regulatory concerns.
Yahoo will take over control of premium search advertising while Microsoft will add its robust search technology and wider-reaching audience to the equation.
Combining the two companies' search algorithms is slated to be finished by the end of the year, with a full complete transition expected by 2012.
The relationship comes after a highly heated confrontation over Microsoft's bid to buy out Yahoo entirely. That left shareholders, consumers, reporters, and analysts in a whirlwind of back-and-forth, largely at the hands of former Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang. Yang has since been replaced.
The current CEO Carol Bartz said, "This breakthrough search alliance means Yahoo! can focus even more on our own innovative search experience. Yahoo! gets to do what we do best: combine our science and technology with compelling content to build personally relevant online experiences for our users and customers."
On the Microsoft side, CEO Steve Ballmet commented, "I believe that together, Microsoft and Yahoo! will promote more choice, better value and greater innovation to our customers as well as to advertisers and publishers."