Microsoft secures Verizon mobile search deal

Jan 08, 2009 By John Letzing

Microsoft Corp. has bested rivals Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. by securing an agreement to become the default provider of Internet search service to mobile phone customers of Verizon Wireless, a Verizon executive said Wednesday.

Speaking at the annual Citigroup entertainment, media and telecommunications conference, Verizon Communications Inc. Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg said that "Microsoft's (Chief Executive) Steve Ballmer will announce a mobile search deal with Verizon" at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Ballmer was scheduled to deliver a keynote address at CES Wednesday evening.

Seidenberg said Ballmer's announcement will focus on ways the deal will be "generating lots of new revenue growth in the short term," though he did not offer specific details.

Speculation about which Internet giant would secure the search deal with Verizon has been ongoing for months.

In November, The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft was nearing a deal with Verizon that would have Microsoft guaranteeing payments to the carrier of roughly $550 million to $650 million over five years, "or roughly twice what Google offered."

A Microsoft spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Internet companies including Microsoft, Google and Yahoo see the mobile phone market as essential for expanding the use of their respective services in the future, as more customers are expected to start browsing the Web through a cell phone rather than a desktop or notebook computer.

Winning the contract to provide default search services for Verizon customers was seen as key, because Verizon is poised to surpass AT&T Inc. to become the U.S.'s largest wireless carrier in terms of subscribers following its $28 billion purchase of Alltel Corp. That acquisition is expected to close Friday.

___

© 2009, MarketWatch.com Inc.
Visit MarketWatch on the Web at www.marketwatch.com
Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

Explore further: Netflix branches into films with 'Crouching Tiger' sequel

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

What's PayPal's first solo move?

13 hours ago

PayPal's impending split from long-time partner eBay Inc. will ratchet up its appeal to online retail competitors such as Amazon.com and give it the freedom to aggressively take on new mobile pay challeng ...

AOL to feed more video, news to Microsoft's MSN

17 hours ago

AOL will provide Microsoft's MSN with more video and additional news stories from popular sites such as The Huffington Post and TechCrunch in an expansion of a deal aimed at selling more digital advertising.

Microsoft to tap $2-trillion Indian cloud market

22 hours ago

Microsoft announced plans Tuesday to offer its commercial cloud services from Indian data centres as it seeks to tap what it calls a $2-trillion market in the country where Internet use is growing rapidly.

User comments : 0