A proposed partial merger between Yahoo and Microsoft – which would see Microsoft’s Bing search engine power searches conducted on Yahoo’s portal – has been approved by regulatory authorities in Canada and Australia.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission issued a statement saying that the two companies already had a similar partnership in place in Australia. The statement even contained praise for the deal, saying that it would provide "effective and sustainable" competition for Google. No statement has been released, as yet, by Canadian regulators, but a spokesperson did confirm that the deal has been approved. The effect of the deal on search engine optimization (SEO) in those countries remains to be seen.

Just two more regulatory hurdles remain for the limited merger, in the form of the U.S. Department of Justice and the EU’s Competition Commission. There is little indication of which way the two organizations will lean on this issue, but search engine optimization (SEO) professionals are watching carefully to gauge the impact of the deal on their industry.

The proposed deal was announced earlier this fall, and regulatory issues have been a part of the discussion from the start.