Verizon Wireless Search Deal: Microsoft Closing In On It; Guarantees May Cross $500M Mark

image*Microsoft* is finally close to edging out *Google* on a search deal, and this one is on the mobile side: it is close to finalizing its deal to become the default search provider on the carrier’s phones, and is even offering guaranteed payments to the carrier of approximately $550 million to $650 million over five years, or roughly twice what Google (NSDQ: GOOG) offered, reports WSJ, citing sources. These revenues would be against the ads that MSFT would be able to serve up in mobile searches. Verizon’s talks with Google are still on, but it is leaning towards MSFT because of better financial incentives.

This is similar to the Facebook deal MSFT did last year.

Separately, in an effort to combat the potential rise of Google-backed Android, it is also trying to get Windows Mobile software in more Verizon (NYSE: VZ) devices, and could even end up paying VZW to encourage them to use the mobile OS. The combined value of the two deals could top $1 billion, the story says. VZW has been working with Windows Mobile for some time now, along with *Palm* and Brew as well, though it has also been cozying up to open source Linux, after recently becoming a member of the technology

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