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Google, eBay in strategic pact to drive click-to-call advertising

30-August-2006
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Google, eBay in strategic pact to drive click-to-call advertising

Google and eBay have entered into a multi-year agreement to benefit both companies’ collective communities of users, merchants, and advertisers around the globe. The agreement consists of two primary components involving text-based advertising and ‘click-to-call’ advertising functionality.

Google will now become the exclusive text-based advertising provider for eBay outside the US. In addition, eBay and Google plan to integrate and launch ‘click-to-call’ advertising functionality that leverage both Skype and Google Talk globally in each company’s shopping and search platforms. The companies said that the financial terms for certain components of the deal involve revenue sharing, but did not disclose specific details.

“We are pleased to expand our long-standing relationship with Google to explore new market opportunities, like click-to-call advertising, that benefit both our communities of users,” said Meg Whitman, President and CEO, eBay Inc. “People continue to evolve how they shop, communicate and advertise online. By combining the power of eBay in e-commerce and Skype in communications with Google’s leadership in search and advertising, we can increase the usefulness of the Internet for shoppers, merchants and advertisers around the world,” she added.

The click-to-call capability will allow a user to click on a link or icon within a product or service advertisement to initiate an Internet voice call to participating eBay merchants or Google advertisers directly from either company’s sites using Skype or Google Talk.

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, said, “This agreement underscores how much we value eBay as a partner. Our technologies will allow us to connect users to relevant advertising across eBay’s international properties. By working together to promote click-to-call functionality through Google Talk and Skype, we are offering advertisers another innovative way to connect with customers.”

The companies plan to begin testing the text-based advertising and click-to-call initiatives in early 2007 that will be evaluated over a period of several months. The specific components and timing of implementation will depend upon initial test results, and will vary by market, largely driven by local dynamics and joint capabilities.

Click-to-call advertising is an emerging e-commerce model that brings buyers and sellers together by opening up new ways for advertisers and merchants to generate customer leads using the Internet. It is particularly valuable for merchants or advertisers who may not have a website, or who currently use channels such as local directories to reach potential customers.

Skype has announced that it would offer its users the option to download the Google Toolbar in the near future, to which Skype would add a custom button. The companies will also explore interoperability between Skype and Google Talk via open standards to enable text chat and online presence.

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