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Overture broadens MSN deal

Overture Services said Monday that it lengthened its distribution deals with Microsoft's Web portal MSN in several international territories through the end of 2004, a deal that gives the commercial Web search company more influence overseas. The Pasadena, Calif., company sells placement in search results, related to keywords, to the highest bidder. Those results, or ad-text links, appear on Overture's partner sites, including MSN, which split the fees every time Web visitors "click" on them. Under its expanded deal with MSN, Overture will distribute its listings to MSN Search in the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan and South Korea through December 2004.

Previously, the two companies's agreement ended in 2003. In addition, Overture will display ads via MSN Search and the MSN Web site in Italy, where Overture just launched. It also plans to sign deals with MSN for Spain, the Netherlands and areas in Scandinavia by the end of this year.