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Google, eBay sign advertising deal

Working on interoperability

Google has signed a deal to become the exclusive provider of text-based advertising for eBay's websites outside of the US.

Under terms of the agreement announced yesterday, Google and eBay will also work on interoperability between their 'click-to-call' advertising services, they said. The technology allows users to click on an advertisement or a product listing on eBay and be connected to the seller via a VoIP (voice over IP) call.

Specific terms of the multiyear deal weren't disclosed, although parts of it involve revenue sharing, the companies said.

eBay signed a similar deal with Yahoo earlier this year. In that case, Yahoo became the exclusive provider of graphical ads for eBay's US website, and Yahoo and eBay also agreed to work together on click-to-call technologies.

In Google's case, users will be able to connect with eBay merchants or Google advertisers using either Google Talk or eBay's Skype service, the companies said. They'll also "explore interoperability" between Skype and Google Talk to enable text chat and online presence, they said.

The companies won't begin testing the text-based advertising and click-to-call initiatives until early 2007. They'll be evaluated for several months, and the roll-out of specific components and timing will depend upon the test results and vary from region to region.

eBay has already started offering a click-to-talk service to its sellers using its own Skype service. It went live in the US in June and is now available in other countries, including the UK, said eBay spokesman James Gordon-MacIntosh.

eBay doesn't expect the agreement to have a material impact on its financial results in 2006 or 2007, it said.

The Google tie-up marks the latest in the jostling to sign potentially lucrative advertising deals on the web. Google signed another exclusive deal earlier this month, to provide search functionality and advertising to MySpace.com and other News Corporation websites. Microsoft followed last week with a less sought-after deal to provide banner and text ads for Facebook, a social networking website.


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