Will Bing and News Corp. Ink a Deal?

-- company logos - bing - news corporation - google --Rupert Murdoch, to put it bluntly, is extremely pissed off at Google.

In case you didn't know, Rupert Murdoch is the founder, chairman and major shareholder of News Corporation. News Corporation is a major media conglomerate that owns the Wall Street Journal, New York Post and FOX Broadcasting Company.

Newspapers aren't faring very well these days (with the rare exception). More and more people are foregoing their "daily paper" and choosing to get their news online instead.

Which company makes it easiest to receive your news online? That'd be Google.

Google runs "Google News", a site that compiles articles from thousands of different newspapers, magazines and other periodicals from all across the world. Many people (myself included) simply visit Google News a few times a day to get all of the latest news from across the world. I can read up-to-the-minute articles from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Associated Press and thousands of others. What do I need a newspaper for?

With the newspaper industry reeling, Rupert Murdoch has found his culprit - Google.

Murdoch has publicly denounced Google, claiming that the online search giant is "stealing" content from the newspapers that he owns by making it available for free online.

Murdoch has claimed that he may choose to "de-index" his sites from Google as a way of fighting back.

"De-indexing" is a fairly simple process. If you don't want your sites listed in Google, then all you have to do is add one or two lines to a file on your web site and your site will completely disappear in a few days.

Murdoch doesn't want Google users accessing the content of his sites for free. Instead, he wants people to pay to read the content.

By delisting his sites from Google, Murdoch theorizes, people will not be able to access the content for free and will be forced to pay up.

This past weekend, the Financial Times revealed that News Corporation and Microsoft have had preliminary discussions about making content from online News Corp. properties exclusively available to Bing (Microsoft's search engine).

The plan would go something like this: Microsoft would pay the News Corporation a fee (an expensive one I'm sure) to be the exclusive search engine to index News Corporation's web sites. Once they had secured the deal with Microsoft, News Corporation would then de-index their sites from Google.

So, content from a site such as WSJ.com (Wall Street Journal) would only be found in the Bing search engine.

What would the two companies have to gain from such a deal?

News Corporation would get a pile of money from Microsoft.

Microsoft would have exclusive content that Google wouldn't have.

The obvious questions that arise from news of these discussions between Microsoft and News Corporation:

1. How much would such a deal cost?
2. Would other media companies suddenly start expressing interest in a deal such as this?
3. What would Google's reaction be?
4. Would Google themselves attempt to start signing similar deals?

While a News Corporation / Microsoft deal wouldn't cost Google too much in terms of direct revenues, it would certainly hurt Google's image as the company that is set on indexing all of the world's information.

Murdoch clearly seems to be hoping that Google comes to the table with some kind of a solution (that lines the pockets of the News Corporation, of course). As of this second, all of the News Corporation online properties are still indexed in Google.

Which company will blink first?

Or will neither company blink?

Filed under: General Market News

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