Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. is planning to remove the company from Google’s indexes and make its content exclusively available on Microsoft’s Bing.
Under the plan, first reported in FT.com, Microsoft would pay News for the search rights to its news content.
Microsoft has also approached other big online publishers to persuade them to remove their sites from Google’s search engine, the FT said.
The story quoted an anonymous web publisher saying the deal was “all about Microsoft hurting Google’s margins,” forcing the search engine also to pay for news.
It follows claims by Murdoch in a recent interview that Google was stealing content and he vowed to block News sites from the search giant.
News’ media properties include the Wall Street Journal, New York Post and Fox News in the US, The Times and The Sun in the UK, and half a dozen major Australian newspapers.
Like other newspapers everywhere, Murdoch’s print division is losing circulation and advertising as both readers and the classified ads business – once described by the tycoon as “rivers of gold” – have moved online.
The possible deal, still in its early stages, was canvassed two weeks ago in a discussion between Mahalo CEO and his former boss, Jonathan Miller, currently the CEO of News Digital.
News currently earns US$300 million (€200m) a year from selling MySpace search rights to Google.