Comcast, the second largest ISP and top cable provider in the US, is airing its dissatisfaction with Google by entering into search and advertising negotiations with Microsoft.
The company’s current search and advertising contract with Google is due to expire at the end of this year, and the ISP/Cable provider is looking to find a more lucrative deal. Comcast made US$70 million in shared advertising revenue via the Google contract, but wants to see a 30% increase in this figure before signing a new contract.
With 15 million visitors per month, Comcast.com is a major source of search traffic for any potential search engine ally, and accordingly believes that US$100 million is a suitable asking price.
The real question is whether Microsoft or any of the other rumored search engine candidates (Yahoo!, AOL) will answer the call and be a suitable replacement for Google. Considering Google’s size and strength, these deal discussions by Comcast could simply be a negotiation tactic to “force” Google’s best offer.
When you consider that Google already has the lion-share of search, and search habits die hard, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Google call Comcast’s bluff. I guess we’ll see who has the upper hand in the coming months.