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In Europe, Yahoo tops Google in deal with T-Mobile

Deal shows Yahoo's momentum in mobile services despite uncertainties raised by Microsoft's takeover bid.

Yahoo has displaced Google as the preferred provider of Web services to mobile operator T-Mobile in northern and central Europe, Yahoo and T-Mobile said on Tuesday.

The deal, announced by the two companies at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, demonstrates Yahoo's momentum in mobile services worldwide despite the uncertainties raised by Microsoft's takeover bid.

T-Mobile had been Yahoo rival Google's breakthrough mobile partner.

Beyond the nearly 90 million phone customers that Yahoo stands to reach through T-Mobile, the deal, signed Wednesday, shows Yahoo's mobile moves have not been hobbled by the possibility that Microsoft could become its parent.

Marco Boerries, the senior vice president in charge of Yahoo's mobile phone push, said the exclusive deal brings the number of subscribers covered by partnerships Yahoo has struck with mobile carriers over the past year to more than half a billion potential phone customers.

"We are now passing 600 million," Boerries said.

During 2008, Yahoo plans to focus on joint marketing efforts with its carrier partners to convert these potential customers into regular users of Yahoo Internet services on their phones.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

The agreement takes effect at the end of March, when the previous T-Mobile deal with Google expires, T-Mobile and Yahoo said in a statement.