As Microsoft announces (through the WSJ) an imminent decision on Yahoo, Yahoo announces (through the WSJ) that it may sign a Google search partnership within the week. (If these two companies finally do get together, the WSJ deserves a cut of those $300 million in M&A fees.)
The search deal has also been carefully designed to reduce anti-trust concerns.
While a broad search ad pact would likely attract intense antitrust scrutiny, the options Google and Yahoo are discussing include a nonexclusive arrangement that they believe could satisfy regulators, say the people familiar with the matter.
The basis of such an arrangement would be a real-time auction system that would choose the most lucrative ads for any given consumer query from among those sold by Yahoo, Google and any of their competitors, the people say. Microsoft, for example, could potentially connect to the Yahoo system and have search ads it sold displayed alongside Yahoo Web search results, under an arrangement where they likely would share ad revenue.
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