Verizon, Google talk mobile search

Potential deal could simplify mobile phone search options

Google could become the default search provider on Verizon
Communications mobile devices, simplifying how users search for
services such as ringtones, businesses and Web pages, according to a report in
The Wall Street Journal. In return, Google will provide Verizon
with a share of ad revenue.

The newspaper reported that the two companies are nearing an
agreement on a wide-ranging partnership, a change in direction from
the telecommunication industry's past reluctance to team up
with established Internet players.

The deal would dramatically simplify search options for
cellphone users, creating a one-stop shop for searches. Today,
users have to go to different places to look up services such as
ringtones, businesses and Web pages. According to WSJ sources,
Verizon eventually wants to put the Google search bar on the home
screen of its phones, and the deal could later extend to Verizon's
Web portal and its FiOS TV service.

According to the WSJ, digital measurement company comScore
reported that Google is the dominant mobile web search engine, with
63 percent of 16.7 million users. Thirty-four percent use Yahoo and
only 25 percent use carriers' services.

The newspaper reported that the deal isn't yet final and the two
sides are still negotiating on key issues, such as Google's desire
to save information from user cellphone searches. Carriers prize
such information and are reluctant to turn it over. Verizon had
also considered other web search partners including Microsoft
Corp., said WSJ sources.

About the Author

Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.

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