The European Commission set a Feb. 19 deadline for its review of Microsoft's planned Internet search tie-up with Yahoo Tuesday.The deal will hand Microsoft full access to Yahoo's search engine so it can be used to help enhance its own search engine, Bing. Yahoo is the nearest challenger to Google, the most popular search engine in Europe. Bing, launched last year, remains a tiny contender with a European market share Microsoft estimates at 2 percent.All mergers and joint ventures involving large corporations are routinely given a one-month examination by the Commission's competition department. If any concerns about the deal's impact on fair competition arise then officials can open a second phase review of an additional four months.
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