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Verizon, Google Close to Mobile Search Deal: Report

Mobile service provider Verizon Communications Inc. is nearing an agreement with Google Inc. on a wide-ranging partnership, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the situation.

Verizon
Verizon

The deal under discussion would make Google the default search provider on Verizon devices and give it a share of ad revenue, the paper said.

The deal is not yet final and the two sides are still negotiating on key issues, such as Google's desire to save information from user cellphone searches, it added.

The online search giant has reportedly been in talks with the number-two U.S. mobile carrier over a possible alliance for almost a year now.

Verizon and Google are hoping to conclude the discussions in the next few weeks and the mobile carrier eventually wants to put the Google search bar on the home screen of its phones, the paper said.

Both Verizon and Google were not immediately available for comments.

Google had crossed swords with U.S. wireless operators such as Verizon late last year when it successfully lobbied with the U.S. government, forcing operators to open up access to their networks ahead of the spectrum auction.

The company is rapidly extending its reach beyond pay per-click Web search ads into a variety of new markets, including telecommunications and online video. The first phones based on Google's much-anticipated Android mobile operating system are expected to hit the market around Christmas.

(Reporting by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty in Bangalore; editing by Sue Thomas)

Copyright 2008 Reuters.

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