Microsoft elbows Google to get to Verizon

Fri, 11/07/2008 - 7:05am
Associated Press staff

NEW YORK (AP) – Microsoft Corp. is in talks to get its search function placed on Verizon Wireless phones, potentially displacing Google Inc., The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

The story cited unnamed sources familiar with the matter.

The paper reported in August that Google was close to sealing a deal with Verizon Wireless to make its search function the default choice on the phones.

Microsoft is offering Verizon Wireless a larger share of advertising revenue from searches and a guarantee of higher payments, the Journal said Friday, adding that the carrier is leaning toward that offer.

Verizon Wireless spokesman Jeffrey Nelson had no comment on the report, saying "We don't have any interest in negotiating our business relationships through the press."

Verizon Wireless doesn't have an outside partnership for mobile Web searches, Nelson said.

Google is already the default search provider on Sprint Nextel Corp. phones. AT&T Inc. uses Yahoo Inc.

The report comes as Google and Microsoft are intensifying their competition on the mobile-phone front. In October, T-Mobile USA launched the first phone that runs Google's Android software, a competitor to Microsoft's Windows Mobile.

Verizon Wireless is a joint venture between Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC.

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