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Yahoo and Virgin Make UK Mobile Search Deal

Yahoo and Virgin Make UK Mobile Search Deal

Struggling Internet giant Yahoo might be looking for a new CEO and trying to rescue its business after fending off Microsoft’s mammoth takeover offer earlier this year, but the company is apparently still in a position to make mobile search deals. The UK’s Virgin Mobile has inked a deal to make Yahoo’s oneSearch Virgin Mobile’s default Internet search service effective December 8, 2008. Virgin Mobile has about 4.4 million mobile subscribers in the UK; terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Our new Virgin Media mobile portal brings the Web to consumers’ pockets,” said Virgin Mobile managing director Graeme Oxby, in a statement. “A great mobile search service is a crucial part of this and by integrating Yahoo oneSearch into the portal, we are ensuring our customers have all the information they need at their fingertips.”

The Virgin Mobile deal makes Yahoo mobile search accessible to about 80 percent of the UK mobile phone-using population, up from about 76 percent. And Yahoo hasn’t been shy about making mobile search deals: it has about 70 in place worldwide, including recent deals with T-Mobile and with AT&T.

The companies didn’t go into the specifics of the deal, but have said that Yahoo and Virgin Media plans to start serving up sponsored search results and “contextually served sponsored listings” within the Virgin Mobile media portal in early 2009 in an effort to further monetize mobile Internet usage.