Google, RealNetworks, Mozilla Make Three-Way Distribution Pact

Google Inc. (GOOG) has extended a multi-year deal with RealNetworks Inc. (RNWK) to promote Google software across Real's entertainment and multimedia products, the companies said on Wednesday.

RealNetworks and Google, together with Web browser maker Mozilla Corp., said they had agreed to distribute the Mozilla Firefox browser together with the Google Toolbar along with Real's RealPlayer audio and video playback software.

No financial terms were disclosed.

Google Toolbar is a software program users install inside a browser, allowing them to more quickly search the Web than by having to visit each time they wish to do a search.

The deal, which builds on an existing two-year distribution pact between Google and RealNetworks, is the latest pact Google has signed with major computer hardware and software companies to distribute its software.

In recent months, Google has set deals with PC maker Dell Inc. (DELL) and software maker Adobe Systems Inc. (ADBE)

By ensuring wide availability of its Web search software, Google is racing to head off competition from Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) as it moves later this year or early next year to release Vista, a new version of its Windows operating software with more built-in search features.

All three companies compete in their respective markets with Microsoft. Mozilla is the maker of the most popular Web browser alternative to Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser.

The companies said that the Google Toolbar and Mozilla Firefox browser will soon be made available as options for customers of RealPlayer, RealNetwork's Rhapsody music subscription service and RealArcade games.