Verizon Communications and Google are reportedly close to a partnership that could bring the search giant's services to its wireless unit and perhaps TV and broadband services too.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Verizon and Google are talking about a partnership. This partnership would bring Google's search to Verizon's wireless network and the two would split ad revenue. My hunch is that Google would give Verizon a generous split because the search giant would want to grab share in the mobile search market, which is small yet has a lot of potential. Yahoo, which has a mobile search service that's as good as Google's if not better, has inked a deal with AT&T.
The Journal writes:
The deal under discussion, which would make Google the default search provider on Verizon devices and give it a share of ad revenue, is aimed at dramatically simplifying what is now a confusing set of search options for cell phone users. Today, users have to go to different places to look up services such as ringtones, restaurants and Web pages. Verizon wants to create a new search platform that would be a one-stop shop.
No kidding. I'm a Verizon Wireless customer and I get bounced all over the place depending on whatever deal the carrier cut. To say the Verizon Wireless default search experience is messy is an understatement. However, I wonder how important these default deals are since I wind up using Google and Yahoo instead of what Verizon puts in front of me.
While this deal between Google and Verizon could fall apart there are some interesting nuances here:
- The Journal reports that Verizon and Google could also expand a search deal to the telecom carrier's Web and TV service (I'm a FiOS customer). The Web portal deals are a non-starter for me as a user, but the FiOS TV meets Google concept may be interesting. A Google-enhanced TV interface may be appealing.
- A partnership between Google and Verizon would open the door for the Android operating system on phones. Verizon has been an Android holdout, but if the carrier partners with Google the operating system is likely to appear on new handsets.
- It appears that AT&T's partnership with Yahoo has spurred these Verizon-Google talks along. Mobile search is a land grab and if the biggest carrier is in bed with Yahoo, Google has no choice but to partner with Verizon, which probably has all the negotiating leverage right now.