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Microsoft and Yahoo can end their search deal after October 1st

Yahoo's headquarters

Yahoo's renewed search deal with Microsoft is even more laissez-faire than it looks at first glance. A filing from the internet pioneer reveals that either company can call it quits from October 1st onward -- all they have to do is send a breakup letter and sit tight for four months. There's no sign that the companies are eager to end their pact, but the clause shows that the two tech firms aren't as dependent on each other as they were back when they forged the original deal in 2009. Microsoft has forged a number of other deals to use Bing (such as in Apple's Siri and Spotlight), while Yahoo is confident that it can build up its own ad platform -- and maybe, just maybe, revitalize its own search tech.

[Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]