Google Shares Near $700 Amid Rumor Talks With Verizon, Sprint


Google's shares closed at $694.77 Tuesday, after trading at a 52-week high of $699.91 earlier in the day. In after-market trading, shares sold for $698.39. The stock was up $15.54 per share or 2.3 percent from Monday amid rumors that Google is poised to announce a mobile phone strategy. The company is in talks with Verizon Wireless and Sprint, according to The Wall Street Journal and Reuters, to provide an operating system and Google applications and technologies including its search engine, Google Maps, YouTube and Gmail e-mail.

For months, industry analysts have speculated when Google could announce its phone strategy. That announcement could come within a couple of weeks, with the phones available by the middle of 2008, according to the Journal.

Google has been working for more than two years on a mobile strategy that would pit itself against Microsoft and Apple running the software on millions of cell phones.

The company isn't expected to manufacture the phone itself and reportedly has been shopping for OEM partners to put its software on phones. It's been unclear how Google will partner with carriers, especially after recently trying-unsuccessfully-to have the FCC alter its strategy to auction off bandwidth in the 700-MHz spectrum, a move that reportedly ruffled feathers of existing carriers.

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