Google in gPhone talks with Verizon Wireless?

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With the launch of Google's gPhone now imminent, expect the rumors to follow at an astonishing clip. The latest: Google is reportedly huddled in negotiations with Verizon Wireless--yes, the same Verizon that recently battled Google's efforts to force wireless carriers to adopt open access requirements. But according to insiders Verizon is now seriously mulling a Google tie-up that would enable the carrier to offer subscribers handsets based on the search giant's fledgling mobile OS--by most accounts, the Google platform will translate to cheaper devices, as license fees for the software and OS are expected to fall substantially below the industry standard.

Verizon Communications COO Denny Strigl said during an investor call Monday that the company has been in talks with a series of companies, including Google, although his remark was in response to questions concerning the upcoming 700Mhz auction. The smart money is still on T-Mobile USA to sign the first gPhone deal--France Telecom on Tuesday denied its Orange mobile unit is in negotiations with Google after The Wall Street Journal named the operator another potential partner. According to the WSJ, Google is also in talks with Sprint.

For more on the rumored gPhone negotiations:
- read this Wall Street Journal article

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