updated 12:15 pm EDT, Fri August 22, 2008
Google Verizon Search Deal
Google and Verizon are forgoing earlier differences and are closing in on a deal that could significantly alter mobile searching, a report from the Wall Street Journal today would suggest. Anonymous sources tell the business paper that Google would become the standard search provider on all of Verizon's handhelds and should ultimately have a search bar on the home screen of all Internet-capable devices.
In exchange, Verizon would receive a share of the revenue from clicks on AdWords advertising that follows each search result. The income split is considered an essential part of the alleged deal for Verizon, which has struggled with its own search and is purportedly worried that it may be excluded from search revenue in the future. Its percentage has been one of the turning points of the deal, according to the tip.
Google in turn is eager to gain as much market share in mobile search as it can before smaller rivals such as Microsoft and Yahoo make any further inroads.
The alliance isn't finalized but would mark at least a temporary reversal of the hostilities between Google and Verizon. Google recently accused Verizon of being dishonest with the FCC by winning an auction for 700MHz wireless spectrum without any intention of obeying the open access rules mandated by the US government. Verizon staunchly opposed those rules, preferring to lock customers to contracts. The firm is also reported to have lobbied the FCC chairman, Kevin Martin, ahead of the auction in an attempt to make him drop the open access rule.
Google is counting on the 700MHz space both to support its ad and search businesses as well as its Android mobile OS, which many anticipate will run on devices that can support high-speed wireless over the newly-cleared frequency.
A deal with Verizon also deepens the integration of its services with particular devices. Google's Maps and web search already feature prominently with the iPhone, while other services are incorporated into multiple high-end LG handsets.