Yahoo May Be Working On Vodafone Search Deal

    March 5, 2009

On the last day of 2008, Vodafone, the mobile telecommunications company, had 289 million customers.  Now, a new report indicates that Yahoo might be on its way to becoming Vodafone’s default search provider in Europe. 

Yahoo Logo

Such a deal would be a little surprising (more on that in a minute) and very significant.  At the same time, it’s far from unimaginable, because one arrangement already made Yahoo Vodafone’s exclusive display advertising partner in the UK, and last month, Yahoo and Vodafone both struck partnerships with Opera.

Here’s the exact rumor, then, as written in a Bloomberg article: "Yahoo . . . is in talks with Vodafone Group Plc about the distribution of its mobile search product in Europe, people familiar with the talks said. . . .  Vodafone has a distribution deal with Google Inc. that expires this year, and Yahoo isn’t the only party the carrier is talking to, the people said."

So Yahoo is in the running, but will have to either make a financially compelling bid or convince Vodafone that it offers users the best experience.  Or both.  Not an easy task, regardless.

We’ve yet to see what Carol Bartz can accomplish at a negotiating table, though, and since the mobile market will only become more important as time goes by, Yahoo’s new CEO could make sealing this deal a high priority.