News Corp. has held talks with Microsoft on a partnership that may result in News Corp. removing its newspaper content from Google's search engine, according to media reports Monday.
The talks included that News Corp. gets paid from Microsoft to take its news websites off Google. News Corp, which owns papers such as the Wall Street Journal of the United States and the Sun of UK, started the discussions. News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch has said he wants to make people pay for access to his news websites.
The talks are still at a very early stage and may not result in a deal, according to people familiar with the matter, the Wall Street Journal said.
While such a deal with Microsoft would be another way for News Corp. to get paid for its newspaper content, the company would risk losing a huge audience if its stories weren't available to Google users.
"We believe search engines are of real benefit to newspapers, driving valuable traffic to their Web sites and connecting them with new readers around the world," said Gabriel Stricker, a Google spokesman. Stricker declined to comment directly on the talks between Microsoft and News Corp.