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DoJ cranks up Microhoo review

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The US Department of Justice has expanded its review of the Microhoo search pact.

According to Bloomberg, the DoJ has asked Microsoft and Yahoo! for more details on their Google-battling search deal, which still requires the agency's approval. Both Yahoo! and Microsoft confirmed the news with The Reg, with Redmond saying that the move was expected.

"As we said when the agreement was announced, we anticipated that this deal will be closely reviewed and we are hopeful it will be approved by early 2010," reads a statement from Microsoft spokesman Jack Ward.

Yahoo! said that both companies are fully cooperating with the review and that both "firmly believe that the information we will be providing will confirm that this deal is not only good for both companies, but it is also good for advertisers, good for publishers, and good for consumers.”

As part of the review, a source tells Bloomberg, the two companies expect to be questioned about their search-engine investments, ad pricing, and product plans.

In late July, Microsoft and Yahoo! inked a 10-year deal that would see Microsoft search and advertising technologies drive Yahoo!'s search engine, while Yahoo! handles traditional ad sales on both its search site and Microsoft's.

Though Google controls somewhere between 65 and 73 per cent of the search, it has hinted that Microhoo deal would hinder competition. The Mountain View web giant did not immediately respond to our request for comment on the news that the DoJ has stepped up its review. ®

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