Microsoft-Yahoo search deal to get EU OK

Microsoft's planned search pact with Yahoo!, which inevitably has Google in its sights, is expected to meet with EU approval, according to a Reuters source.

Microsoft and Yahoo signed a 10-year Web search pact last July in a move which caught the eye of EU regulators. Commissioners decided to sniff around to ensure the mooted deal would be good for consumers.

The European Commission gave itself until February 19 to look into the deal, but a source told Reuters that the decision has been made in favour of the partnership.

Since Google rules over 90 percent of the global search and a Yahoo! and Bing only manage 7.4 per cent combined the deal is not likely to ruffle any regulatory feathers

"I expect clearance without any concessions next Friday," Reuters' deep throat growled.