Have Google and Verizon Communications finally kissed and made up?
The two heavyweights, last seen sparring over opening up the wireless spectrum, are in talks over a deal that would make Google the default search on Verizon devices and give the search giant a piece of the ad revenue, the Wall Street Journal reports.
A deal could eventually cover Verizon's Web portal and its FiOS TV service, the Journal says.
Any agreement would be a turnaround from their public clashes after Google lobbied the government to open up access to the wireless spectrum. Verizon fiercely fought back that effort.
In June, Russ Mitchell noted that with the acquisition of Alltel and with an agreement with the Federal Communications Commission, Verizon looked prepared to keep throwing its weight around.
Wireless providers are looking for an edge in services amid fierce competition. Verizon Wireless-a joint venture between Verizon Communications and Vodafone of Britain-has talked to other possible search partners in the past, including Microsoft, the Journal says.
A deal is equally important to Google
"Google wants closer integration with carriers like Verizon so it can enhance the relevance of the ads it shows-for example, by making them sensitive to a user's location," the Journal says.
Rival Yahoo has deals with several wireless providers.
But Rafat Ali on mocoNews.net says that such deals offer only short-term gains: "As phones open up, users will be able to use whichever search engine they desire, not the ones deemed official by the carriers."
And for those who are worried about Google's crushing dominance in search and its inroads into media, there is now a modified search engine that lets you search without getting results from Google sites like Knol, Blogger, and YouTube.
Yes, it's Google minus Google.