Reuters is reporting that Verizon has chosen Microsoft to be its mobile search partner. The rumor, based on an initial Wall Street Journal report in November, had been that Google and Microsoft were in tight competition for the relationship.
Microsoft provided the following statement about the Reuters report:
“We can confirm the Microsoft, Verizon Wireless mobile search and advertising relationship, but have no further details to disclose at this time. Please stay tuned for more information.”
This is a significant deal for Microsoft. Verizon is the largest US wireless carrier, with approximately 78 million subscribers, having acquired second tier carrier Alltel in a deal worth just over $28 billion. (That deal is slated to close this Friday.)
The Verizon relationship will provide potentially huge mobile reach to Microsoft (and its advertisers). Redmond currently lags both Google and Yahoo in mobile search share.