The U.S. Department of Justice is expanding its review of the pending Microsoft-Yahoo search partnership the pair unveiled this summer.
The DOJ has requested more information from both companies, according to various reports. Microsoft isn't commenting on the specifics of what the DOJ is requesting. But a Bloomberg story, citing "a person familiar with the matter," said the pair are likely to be asked about their search-engine investments, ad pricing and product plans.
(I've asked Microsoft officials whether there are any more specifics on the DOJ investigation to share but have yet to hear back.)
Microsoft and Yahoo agreed to a complex partnership in July, via which Microsoft would provide much (but not all) of the search technology to Yahoo for use within its various online properties and Yahoo would sell the Microsoft-Yahoo search and advertising platform to advertisers. The goal of the proposed partnership is to create a more formidable No. 2 player in the search market by combining the development and sales forces of the current No. 2 (Yahoo) and distant No. 3 (Microsoft).
In July, according to comScore, Bing had 8.9 percent share of the U.S. search market and Yahoo had 19.3 percent. Google had 64.7 percent.
Microsoft is expected to be launching an update to its Bing search engine, known tentatively as "Bing 2.0" before the end of this month -- and possibly as early as next week