But Sanford Bernstein analyst Jeffrey Lindsay says Verizon is bargaining from a position of strength with both Google and Microsoft.
"Verizon is negotiating its hand very well and forcing them to bid against each other," he says. "With the strategic stakes being so high, we wouldn't say that Microsoft has it in the bag by any means."
Lindsay maintains that Google must win over Verizon if it wants to dominate the mobile Web as it does desktop computers.
"It would be a huge setback for Google if they missed the deal," he says. "It would probably behoove them to do what it takes to make sure they get it."For Microsoft, whose presence on cell phones is rather limited, a deal with Verizon may be even more essential. Roger Entner, a telecom analyst for Nielsen IAG, notes that although Microsoft has developed a Windows operating system for mobile devices, it is largely reserved for high-end devices and is not tightly integrated with search, a crucial revenue stream. He further points out that Google is already the default search engine for Sprint (S), and Yahoo! (YHOO) is linked to AT&T (T). "There's only one dance partner left in the U.S.," Entner says. "Either
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV