Google mulls Israeli office

Google representatives met last week with several Israeli Internet companies.

The world's largest Internet company is considering opening a representative office in Israel. On a visit to Israel last week, Google (Nasdaq:GOOG) business development representatives met with senior executives from several Israeli Internet companies and portals.

Google Hebrew is currently run out of Google's European branch. The reason for opening an office in Israel is apparently to expand advertising and sales activities, improve the search engine, and to copy the Google international model, which includes a news site and price comparison engine, into Hebrew. Google does not plan to implement in Israel a new Internet portal model, such as Walla! Communications Ltd. (TASE:WALA), MSN Israel, or Ynet.

Walla CEO Ilan Israely and MSN Israel CEO Uri Adoni, presumably Google Hebrew's future competitors, welcome the opening of a Google office in Israel. They believe that an expansion of Google's activities in Israel will increase online advertising and attract more advertisers, while improving search engines.

Online advertising in Israel from searches alone, not including advertising, is expected to reach $7 million this year.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes.co.il - on June 5, 2005

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