Mobile Operators Planning Joint Mobile Search Rival To Google/Yahoo?

Telegraph UK has a very speculative story about top European mobile operators (and Cingular) meeting at 3GSM in Barcelona later this month to discuss pooling their resources together to develop or back a search service to rival the online behemoths Google and Yahoo.
The story says Vodafone, France Telecom, Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom, Hutchison Whampoa, Telecom Italia and Cingular are among the companies that will come together for this secret, talks. Among the ideas to be discussed include backing an existing search engine and use their combined might to secure a majority slice of the income. Another idea up for discussion is the creation of a white label service, with a single advertising sales house and technical team, to which mobile networks could then apply their own brand, the story says.
This comes as Google and Yahoo have been steadily signing up operators, including the ones mentioned above, to power their mobile search services. We have covered operator unease in the past, as they worry about Google and Yahoo getting majority of the mobile search ad revenue split. These talks stem from that concern, though I would be surprised if anything ever comes out of this, mainly because of the complexities of working together and secondly because of tough EU anti-competitive regulations.
Mobile Industry: Beware of Google?
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