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Virgin US in deal with Yahoo

Virgin Mobile USA said Wednesday that it intends to make Yahoo’s mobile services available to all its 4.6 million subscribers.

The announcement comes as arch rival Google said it had inked a deal with handset maker LG. Both Yahoo and Google are vying for position, not only as the consumer’s preferred search brand but also for favourable deals with operators and manufacturers alike.

Virgin said in a statement that beginning April, Yahoo Mail and Yahoo Messenger will be available for download onto several existing Virgin handsets. In the future, Virgin said, that software will come pre-installed on selected phones.

In the UK, mobile operator 3 has already shipped Yahoo Go, on its X-Series. Last week Yahoo stole a lead on Google with the launch of its openSearch application that greatly improves local search results from a mobile phone.

Virgin said further announcements on additional Yahoo services would be made in the coming months, including a range of SMS services such as search and messaging.

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