Verizon Wireless Searching for Deal

Verizon and Google may be close to a search deal for the carrier’s wireless customers, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Journal says, “It’s the latest sign that telecom companies are finally conceding that their homegrown search services have stalled — and that they need help from the Internet’s big guns.”

What it all could mean for Verizon’s ad relationships with AOL and Millennial Media remains to be seen.

This may just be about finding the right partner, as Google is the most used search provider on the Web. In July it maintained a 61.9 percent market share, according to comScore. Putting aside past disagreements and competition — on things such as the spectrum auction and Google Android — Verizon sees that Google has already gained some dominance on the handset. Google held 61 percent of the mobile search market share in Q1, according to Nielsen Online.

Verizon has worked with white label mobile search provider Medio for some time now, which has included search and advertising. The article speculates Medio will manage the relationship between the carrier and Google. For display advertising, Verizon currently splits its inventory. AOL’s Platform-A sells the lion’s share, and Millennial Media also sells a portion.

Will Google be happy with just search? It’s got mobile display ads. That may be down the line. The Journal says the next deal after mobile search could be a Google search box in Verizon’s broadband and TV services.

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