No 'I' in Google
Google (GOOG) is finding it easier not to do everything itself.
The top search engine is relying on eBay (EBAY) to help it promote click-to-call services, in which consumers make Internet phone calls by clicking on icons in advertisements. Dell (Dell) and Adobe (ADBE) are distributing Google's search toolbar. Earlier this year, Google signed a deal with consultants BearingPoint (BE) to provide services to business customers.
"It seems like they are an important partner with everyone," says Mike Binger, who helps manage $1.5 billion for Thrivent Financial, including shares of Google, in an interview.
Analysts expect more partnerships to be announced in the coming months as competition heats up between the Mountain View, Calif.-based company and rivals including Microsoft (MSFT). The partnership push will be seen positively by Wall Street, which is concerned about Google's ballooning costs and wants the company to stay focused."Maybe Google has been taking its ADD medicine," joked analyst Martin Pyykkonen of Global Crown Capital, referring to attention deficit disorder. He rates Google shares overweight. Google took another shot at the world's largest software maker yesterday, announcing the debut of Google Apps for Your Domain, a suite of free services including email and calendars for small to midsized businesses. Analysts expect Google to turn to partners to promote and help improve these features.
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