- Associated Press - Thursday, December 2, 2010

TOKYO (AP) - Japan’s anti-monopoly watchdog has approved a tie-up between Yahoo Japan Corp. and Google Inc. but warned it will keep checking for possible violations.

The commission said Thursday it didn’t see any problems as long as the two companies continued to be separate and offered distinctive services.

Yahoo Japan has said it plans to launch a search service using Google’s search and advertising technology here by the end of this year.

Online shopping site Rakuten Inc. had asked the Fair Trade Commission to look into the deal, announced in July, to see if the partnership might hinder competition and growth in the Japanese Internet.

Yahoo Japan has more than a 50 percent share of the Japanese Internet search services market, and Google around 40 percent, according to Japanese research firm Video Research Interactive Inc.

Google dominates the lucrative Internet search market worldwide. It generates income by charging advertisers to display links along with search results.

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