The Swiss Competition Commission has given the go ahead to a merger between Swisscom’s directory services subsidiary and Tamedia-owned search engine search.ch.

The two companies, who announced their intention to merge the two websites last May, want to create a Swiss rival to international search engines such as Google.

Swisscom’s local.ch will merge with search.ch although the two domains will continue as separate websites.

While local.ch offers traditional directory services, which it monetises through advertising, search.ch provides mapping, weather reports and TV and cinema listings in addition to its search engine function.

Previously, the two companies said they aimed to get five million users a month.

Swisscom will hold 69 percent of the new entity with Tamedia holding 31 percent.

The operator can purchase Tamedia’s stake for around €200 million should the latter decide to sell up in the next three years.

The two companies said they expected the merger to be completed by the middle of this year.

Swisscom CEO Urs Schaeppi commented: “This decision is the right one given the international market environment and takes account of future developments.

“The merger will enable us to build a strong Swiss alternative to international search engines and social networks together with Tamedia and develop new and attractive services for our customers.”

The company is also taking on established internet players in other areas; last year it launched a cloud storage solution for retail and enterprise customers.

Swisscom saw revenues rise 2.4 percent last year as customers signed up for bundled services in record numbers.

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