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Google ties up with Japan DoCoMo to grow abroad

Date: 1/24/2008 12:47:43 PM

Google Incs search engine will feature on NTT DoCoMo Inc handsets, giving it access to 48 million new mobile Internet users in Japan in its push for overseas growth.

DoCoMo, Japans largest mobile operator, said on Thursday the tieup on Internet searches, email and other services, will help it retain users in a competitive market and raise advertisement revenue while cutting development costs.

The two firms, which also plan to launch a Linuxbased mobile handset in Japan, aim to reap joint advertising revenues of 10 billion yen "as soon as possible," they said, without disclosing how they plan to split revenues.

"Japans mobile Internet services lead the world," DoCoMo senior Vice President Takeshi Natsuno said at a news conference. "Its no wonder that big U.S. companies are paying attention to Japan."

Google has already partnered with Japans No. 2 mobile phone company KDDI Corp . DoCoMo and KDDI together control over 80 percent of Japans mobile market.

Cheaper datatransmission charges are prompting mobile operators to team up with search engines, rather than developing content on their own.

Softbank Corp , the No. 3 mobile phone company, works with Yahoo Japan Corp , in which Softbank holds a 40 percent stake.

Under Thursdays agreement, DoCoMo handsets will provide Google search results for mobile and PC Websites via the toppage of its Internet portal site.

The two firms will discuss ways to make it easier for DoCoMo users to access Gmail, the videosharing site YouTube, and Picasa Web albums, they said.

Shares of DoCoMo closed up 3.2 percent at 161,000 yen, compared with a 2.1 percent rise in the benchmark Nikkei

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