Yahoo! has signed a deal with Virgin Mobile to become the default search engine for the mobile operator’s 4 million UK customers. Yahoo! says the deals gives it an 80% share of the UK mobile search audience following similar exclusive deals with Orange, O2, 3 and T-Mobile.
The deal, which starts next Monday (December 8), will be extended early next year to include sponsored search results and sponsored listings with Yahoo! and Virgin Mobile sharing ad revenues.
Graeme Oxby, managing director of Virgin Mobile, says: “Our new Virgin Media mobile portal brings the web to consumers’ pockets. 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 search giant now has more than 70 carrier partnerships globally, which cover more than 850 million mobile subscribers.
The deal with Virgin Mobile comes a fortnight after Yahoo! announced it is extending its partnership with T-Mobile to be the default search partner on the operator’s Smartphones. Virgin Mobile’s service runs on the T-Mobile network.