Ballmer: Thanks a Lot, Seidenberg
Looks like “roughly twice what Google (GOOG) offered” was a good enough price to score Microsoft the highly coveted Verizon Wireless search deal. At an investor conference today, Ivan Seidenberg, CEO of Verizon Communications (VZ), said the company has struck a five-year deal with Microsoft (MSFT) to make its Live Search the default search engine on Verizon mobile phones. Seidenberg offered no other details beyond that, explaining that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is to officially announce the deal during his keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show later today. Of course, now that it’s been unofficially announced, there’s yet another reason to snooze through the Ballmer keynote.
Anyway, this is quite a coup for Redmond. Said Roger Entner, Nielsen’s head of telecom research, “Microsoft really needed to win that. It gives them a good fighting chance. Otherwise they would have been almost insurmountably behind Google [in mobile search].”