As suspected, Microsoft (MSFT) has beaten out Google (GOOG) to be the company that serves search and search ads for Verizon (VZ), including Verizon Wireless phones.
Reuters: Verizon Communications Inc said it agreed to a mobile search deal with Microsoft Corp and that details will be announced later on Wednesday.
Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg said Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer is due to announce their deal at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Seidenberg, speaking at a Citigroup conference, gave no further details.
We assume this means Microsoft offered more guaranteed revenue than Google.
We understand why Microsoft made the deal — it’s an experiment to buy mobile search market share, where it’s currently trailing Google. And default search deals are probably more effective on mobile browsers than computers, because it’s harder to navigate and type Web addresses.
But we don’t know how effective it’ll be: As mobile browsers improve, won’t people just learn to type Google into their phones?
Not connected to the deal, but still important: Will Verizon eventually support phones running Google’s Android mobile platform? So far T-Mobile and Sprint Nextel (S) are the only U.S. carriers vowing support for Android. But as Verizon becomes the biggest U.S. carrier this week via its Alltel acquisition, it’s increasingly important to Google — and mobile phone companies betting on Android, such as Motorola (MOT).
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