Verizon Taps Microsoft for Mobile Search Over Google, Yahoo

Verizon announced yesterday that they had signed a deal with Microsoft to provide web search for cell phones and other mobile devices. This is seen as a loss for Google and Yahoo, who were both courting the cell-phone giant for their own search services.

Negotiations over the contract have been ongoing for about a year, and is seen as big win for Microsoft, which has been struggling to gain market share for its search platform, which continues to lag behind Google despite making modest gains in usage.

Default search deals are the bread and butter of search engines; getting users in front of keyword-targeted ads by paying or sharing revenue has been one of the most efficient ways to gain market share for emerging search services. Google applied this same tactic with Dell and Firefox to great success.

When Verizon completes its acquisition of Alltel, it will be the largest US wireless carrier.