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Disney passes to Google

The search company says it has begun providing Web search results to Walt Disney's, in a deal that underscores the heated competition between Google and Overture.

Google said Monday that it has begun providing Web search results to Walt Disney's in a deal that will replace one with competitor Overture Services.

The search technology company said the deal with Disney will include its algorithmic and sponsored results for queries. Google's sponsored results compete directly with those from Overture, where advertisers pay a per-click fee for higher placement on specific search queries. When visitors to partner sites click on these links, Google or Overture pays its partners a percentage of the fees the company receives from advertisers.

In addition to, Google will begin powering site-specific results and sponsored links in the entertainment giant's, and Web properties in the spring.

The agreement underscores the heated competition between Google and Overture in distributing search results to content partners. In the past few months, Overture has struck distribution deals with AOL Time Warner's and AOL Europe, and with Disney's However, America Online replaced Overture with Google last May in a move that sent Overture's stock reeling.

Disney originally courted Overture (then called in spring 2001 as a placeholder after scrapping its ambitions for has since become a shell of its former self, acting as a springboard to Disney's premier sites, such as, ESPN and Disney Online.

Still, Overture continues to count two of the biggest Web portals, Yahoo and MSN, as its partners. Overture's payment scheme has helped Yahoo achieve consecutive quarters of profitability, and it has offered a comparable cash windfall for MSN.