Report: Microsoft Horning In On Google-Verizon Deal

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Google has been trying to make its search engine the default on the No. 2 wireless company's phones, according to a report in Friday's The Wall Street Journal, citing sources who are familiar with the deal.

However, in an attempt to thwart the Google-Verizon deal, Microsoft is offering to sweeten the pot by tempting Verizon with a more generous revenue sharing plan and a guarantee of making significantly higher payments to the phone company, the paper reported.

The Redmond, Wash.-based company's strategy appears to be exploiting its foe's problems with government regulators, according to the paper. The irony in Microsoft's ploy, the paper points out, is that Microsoft has had more than its share of battles with regulators over the years.

A tie-up between Google and Verizon was supposedly nearly completed in late August, according to reports, but the companies did not agree about divvying up ad-sharing revenue related to keyword searches.

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At that time, the Journal said that such a deal would help Google potentially lock in 68 million wireless customers who would use Google as their primary mobile search engine. Verizon was reportedly mulling over the idea of displaying Google's search bar on the home screens on all Verizon phones, as well as adding it to Verizon's Web portal and FiOS television service.

So far, Verizon is weighing both deals presented by Google and Microsoft, and has not reached a decision, sources told the paper. The companies declined to comment.