Report: Verizon close to mobile search deal with Google

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According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Verizon Communications is close to securing a deal with Google that would make the search-engine giant the default search provider on Verizon devices and give the operator a share of the ad revenue as well as expand search services to other Verizon services such as Verizon's Web portal and FiOS TV.

Under the deal, Verizon and Google would split revenue from ads that come up as a result of keywords used in a search. The percentage split, however, is unclear. That issue has been the main reason why major mobile operators have opted for their own search services and apparently why Google hasn't been able to get a deal done with Verizon in the past.

While Verizon doesn't particularly have a rosy relationship with Google. For instance, the two butted heads over open-access provisions for the 700 MHz auction, and Verizon hasn't really expressed interest in Google's Android platform. But it's clear that Google is taking the lead in mobile Web search. A recent survey from comScore M:Metrics indicated that out of the 16.7 million who said they use mobile search, about 63 percent said they used Google, 34 percent said they used Yahoo, while 25 percent said they used carriers' services. According to consumer research provider Nielsen Mobile, Google dominated mobile web search in the first quarter of 2008, accounting for 61 percent of mobile searches during the quarter.

For more:
- check out The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)

Related stories:
Google continues to dominate mobile search. Google story
Google: Mobile ads will be more lucrative than online. Mobile ads story

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