Overture, HP Strengthen Ties

  |  July 17, 2003   |  Comments

The search firm extends and expands a pact to deliver paid placement results to HP computer users in the United States and Canada.

Overture Services has added an additional year to its contract to provide paid placement search results on Hewlett-Packard notebooks and PCs shipped to U.S. customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The company, which is being acquired by Internet portal giant Yahoo for $1.6 billion, also expanded the scope of the deal to include computers sold in Canada. Those listings will begin in late summer.

Overture senior vice president Bill Demas said, "This agreement underscores Overture's commitment to building deeper, more strategic relationships with existing partners in new and exciting distribution channels."

The previous U.S. agreement was also a one-year deal, Overture spokesman Al Duncan said.

Overture listings are generated from 88,000 advertisers who bid for placement on keywords relevant to their business. The company screens the listings and distributes them to its partners -- Yahoo, MSN, CNN, and Lycos.

HP users can access the pages through a "Search the Internet" keyboard button or a "Search the Web" box on the default homepage of HP Pavilion PCs. Also, users may access Overture results via the search icon on their Web browser toolbar.

HP, which boosted its presence in the PC market with the purchase of Compaq Computer, shipped 2.29 million machines in the United States during the second quarter, according to preliminary research released today by IDC.

The strong quarter gave the company a 16.2 percent U.S. market share, second only to Dell, which holds 17.8 percent. Figures for Canada are not yet available, an IDC spokesman said.

In addition to the United States and Canada, Overture operates commercial search networks in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and South Korea.

A spokesman for Palo Alto, Calif.-based HP could not be reached to comment on whether the company's relationship with Overture might be expanded to other countries. Additional distribution deals could significantly boost the potential viewers of Overture's paid placement links.

Overture's Duncan declined comment on possible future expansion of the deal outside of North America.

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