Telecom’s new partner for Xtra could be search-engine giant Google.
Xtra spokeswoman Lenska Papich will only say that “At this time all our activities in this space are commercially sensitive and can’t be discussed in detail”.
However, the firm of intellectual property lawyers that Telecom uses for its domain name registrations, AJ Park, has reserved the xtragoogle.co.nz and googlextra.co.nz domain names.
The domain names in question have “Wellington Harbour Properties Ltd” as the registrant, but Computerworld understands the directors are AJ Park staffers and that it is a shell company.
Affirming that the partnership between Telecom and Microsoft that Theresa Gattung and Bill Gates inked in 2001 is now over, Papich says, “Our relationship with Microsoft is at a natural point of review and we continue to work together with Microsoft to determine the best way to serve our customers [in the future].”
Google’s Australian office would neither confirm nor deny the Xtra deal.
The New Zealand licence for MSN is currently held by NineMSN, the company jointly held by Microsoft and Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd, which owns Australian Consolidated Press and Nine Network Television.
Microsoft, which has so far been Xtra’s partner with its MSN division, would not comment on the deal.
AJ Park has not registered either yahooxtra.co.nz or xtrayahoo.co.nz, which seems to rule out Yahoo’s involvement.