Under terms of the agreement announced Monday, the two said they will also work on interoperability between their ‘click-to call’ advertising services, allowing users to click on an advertisement or a product listing on eBay and be connected to the seller via VoIP (voice over internet protocol) technology.

Specific terms of the multiyear deal weren't disclosed, although parts of it involve revenue sharing, the companies said.

EBay signed a similar deal with Yahoo! earlier this year, where the latter became the exclusive provider of graphical ads for eBay's US website, and the two also agreed to work together on click-to-call technologies.

The companies won't begin testing the text-based advertising and click-to-call initiatives until early 2007. They'll be evaluated for several months, and the rollout of specific components and timings will depend on test results and vary regionally.

Setting a precedent

EBay has already started offering a click-to-talk service to its sellers using its own Skype service. It went live in the U.S. in June and is now available in other countries, including the UK, said eBay UK spokesman James Gordon-MacIntosh.

The Google tie-up marks the latest in the jostling to sign potentially lucrative advertising deals on the web.

Google signed another exclusive deal earlier this month, to provide search functionality and advertising to MySpace.com and other News Corporation websites.

Microsoft followed last week with a less sought after deal to provide banner and text ads for Facebook, a social networking site.