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Sky brings in Google to bolster broadband service

LONDON - Google and BSkyB have agreed a deal for the internet giant to provide a video sharing and email service to Sky Broadband users, as well as sell search advertising across Sky's portfolio of websites.

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The tie-up comes four months after the $900m deal made by Sky parent News Corporation giving Google the rights to sell search advertising on MySpace for three years, and two months after Google bought video sharing site YouTube for $1.6bn.

Sky and Google said today's agreements would be multi-year deals but did not disclose financial terms.

Google will power Sky Anytime on PC (as Sky Broadband is now known) with a user-generated video portal allowing customers to share videos. Crucial to this, is a multi-platform element allowing customers to upload and download material via mobile phone.

Google will also provide a customised Sky-branded version of its email program Google Mail.

In an echo of the MySpace deal, Sky has given Google the right to sell search advertising on its portfolio of websites; these include recent acquisition Mykindaplace although Sky did not clarify whether this was included in the deal.

Revenue generated by click-throughs on sponsored links will be shared between Sky and Google.

Further links are also in the pipeline surrounding internet telephone services.

James Murdoch, Sky's chief executive, said: "These agreements will bring Sky customers a valuable set of services from the world's leading search company, including cutting edge tools for video-sharing and communications.

"Sky is on track to build a large and successful broadband business and is increasingly well positioned to participate in the rapid growth of online search and advertising."

Eric Schmidt, chairman and chief executive officer of Google, said: "Today's alliance with Sky brings together two of the most innovative media and technology companies for the benefit of users. We will be delivering exciting new services for Sky Broadband customers all over the UK."

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