Yahoo and Google continue their bare-knuckle fight over mobile search/advertising: Today at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telecom (DT) said it would dump Google in favour of Yahoo as search partner for its European mobile Web sites.
Good news for Yahoo (YHOO), which becomes the default search engine for T-Mobile’s roughly 80 million European subscribers at the end of March. Likewise, bad news for Google (GOOG), which loses those eyeballs. Yahoo told Reuters that it now has access to 600 million mobils subs worldwide through its carrier deals, and is gunning for 1 billion by the end of next year.
Why are deals like these important? Because browsing the mobile Web on most phones is still an annoying, tricky experience, so subscribers are more likely to use whichever search tool is on their carrier’s mobile start page.
Likewise, these deals are less relevant for the increasing percentage of mobile subs with smartphones — whose better browsers let people set their own homepage/search engine, and full keyboards make entering Web addresses faster/easier.
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