Microsoft has discussed paying News Corp. to remove its news Web sites from Google’s search results and list them on its Bing search engine instead, The Financial Times reported Sunday on its Web site.
Microsoft also approached other major online publishers about removing their sites from Google, the report said.
News Corp. initiated the discussions with Microsoft, the report said, citing an unnamed person close to the talks. The person said discussions are in early stages.
The report comes two weeks after News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch told Sky News Australia that he planned to block popular search engines including Google and Bing from listing content from his company’s news Web sites in order to get readers to pay for online content.
The Financial Times report cites one unnamed Web site publisher that was also approached by Microsoft as saying the plan to pay for delisting from Google could place enormous value on content if they are paid for exclusive indexing. Murdoch has called for an end to search engine listings for his company’s news content because search engines make money from his content through their advertising, while he does not get paid.
A deal between Microsoft and news Web sites could put Bing in a much better position to compete against Google, the report said.