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Microsoft/Yahoo deal could extend beyond US, says Steve Ballmer

Microsoft has revealed that its search...

Microsoft has revealed that its search deal with Yahoo could be expanded beyond the US once it has been given the...

go-ahead.

The deal, under which Microsoft's Bing search engine will be used for Yahoo searches and Yahoo will sell premium advertising for both companies, is still being finalised.

Steve Ballmer, chief executive officer at Microsoft, said that it is possible the partnership will be extended overseas, according to US reports.

The deal was announced in July and was originally scheduled to be completed by the end of October, but the two companies have asked for more time to hammer out the details.

Observers have speculated that Microsoft and Yahoo are keen to find just the right structure for the deal to ensure quick approval by US competition authorities.

Regulators blocked Yahoo's proposed deal with Google, but the deal with Microsoft joins two much smaller companies and was initially expected to get relatively easy approval.

But anti-trust experts have warned that US regulators sometimes oppose mergers between number two and three players.

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