Yahoo and Virgin sign mobile search deal

Yahoo and Virgin Mobile have agreed a deal making Yahoo search the exclusive, pre-installed search service for Virgin's 4 million mobile subscribers in the UK.

Yahoo has stolen a march on its rival Google in the mobile market, signing up an impressive number of Asian operators over the last 18 months, and now it is targeting Europe, starting with the UK.

'We will continue to focus on investing in this area. It falls squarely within our strategy of indispensable starting points,' the head of Yahoo's mobile operations in Europe, Mitch Lazar, told Reuters.

Globally, Yahoo now has 70 such partnerships, giving it access, in theory, to 850 million subscribers.

Lazar said Yahoo's next key target markets in Europe were France, Germany, Italy and Spain. 'We hope to announce some arrangements in the near future,' he added.