U.S., European Commission Clear Microsoft-Yahoo! Agreement

Posted by Brad Smith
Microsoft Senior Vice President and General Counsel
and Michael Callahan
Yahoo! Executive Vice President and General Counsel

As was broadly reported this morning, both the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commissionhave completed their reviews of the Microsoft-Yahoo! search agreement and cleared the transaction without restrictions.

We appreciate the thorough reviews conducted by the DOJ and the Commission and we welcome the thoughtful decisions reached by each agency.  We also commend the collaborative efforts the regulators undertook to understand the search advertising market. Likewise, we are grateful for the efforts of regulators in Australia, Brazil and Canada who previously cleared the agreement, as well as those regulators we continue to work with in Korea, Taiwan and Japan.

We believe this agreement promotes choice, value and innovation for consumers, advertisers and publishers. Today, one company dominates more than 75 percent of the search advertising market in the U.S. and more than 90 percent of the market in Europe. We’re hopeful that this agreement is a first step for a viable competitor to emerge.

As we said when we announced the deal last July, the agreement required regulatory clearance in the U.S. and Europe before it could close. Now that we’ve received those approvals, we will begin the work of implementing the agreement. And we will continue to work with regulators in other relevant jurisdictions to ensure they have the information they need to evaluate the deal before it takes effect in those specific markets.

About the Author

General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft

Brad Smith is Microsoft's General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs. He leads the company's Department of Legal and Corporate Affairs (LCA), which has approximately 1,100 employees located in 55 countries. Mr. Smith is responsible for the company's legal work, its intellectual property portfolio and patent licensing business as well as its government affairs and philanthropic work. He also serves as Microsoft's corporate secretary and its chief compliance officer. Mr. Smith currently co-chairs the board of directors of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and is the chair-elect of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. In Washington state, Mr. Smith has served as chair of the Washington Roundtable, a leading Washington state-based business organization, and he has advanced several statewide education initiatives.