WASHINGTON (AFP) — Microsoft Corp. is close to a deal with Verizon Wireless to become the default search provider on the wireless carrier's cellphones, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
The newspaper, citing "people familiar with the discussions," said the agreement would call for the two companies to share revenue from ads shown in response to cellphone Web searches.
It said that would ensure guaranteed payments to Verizon of approximately 550 million dollars to 650 million dollars over five years, or roughly twice what was offered by Internet search king Google, a rival for the deal.
The Journal said software giant Microsoft was negotiating a separate deal to put its Windows Mobile software in more Verizon devices and the combined value of the two agreements could top one billion dollars.
The newspaper said it was not clear if Microsoft was offering to pay Verizon, a joint venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group PLC, to use Windows Mobile, or allow it to use the software for free.
Microsoft and Google are both pushing their mobile operating systems and seeking to make their products the default search provider on cellphones.
The G1, a new mobile telephone from Google and T-Mobile, runs on Google's Android open-source software and prominently features Google's search engine.
Google dominates the market for search, not only for people connecting to the Internet through personal computers but also for those using cellphones.
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