Overture, MSN extend search pact

In the companies' new deal, Overture will continue to provide search services to Microsoft's MSN through 2004.

Overture will continue to provide search services to Microsoft's MSN through 2004, the companies said Monday.

The new deal, an extension of earlier agreements between the two companies, also calls for Overture to provide search services for Microsoft's MSN search pane through December 2003.

The deal covers sites in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, and has been expanded to include Germany and France. Microsoft will also test Overture's search in Japan after the pay-for-search company's Japanese market launch. Overture?s Japan launch has been bumped up to the fourth quarter, a quarter ahead of schedule.

Overture's search service allows advertisers to pay for placement in its search results. The company has been fighting for search deals with Google , which has won over America Online and EarthLink.

Overture's results on the MSN search pane and MSN search will be listed under the heading "Sponsored Sites." Financial terms of the deal were not released, but Overture said that the deal would not affect its previous earnings, traffic acquisition cost and revenue projections.

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