Microsoft and News Corp in discussions over Bing News

The Financial Times is reporting that Microsoft and News Corp has held discussions over a plan that would see Rupert Murdoch "de-index" his websites from Google.

Murdoch originally hinted at plans to charge for online content at sites such as The Sun, The Times or the Wall Street Journal. Earlier this month the media giant said he may block his sites from Google's index entirely.

According to the Financial Times, "Microsoft has also approached other big online publishers to persuade them to remove their sites from Google's search engine." The FT sources an anonymous publisher who claims "this is all about Microsoft hurting Google's margins" and believes the plan "puts enormous value on content if search engines are prepared to pay us to index with them".

The FT report comes a week after TechCrunch reported that Microsoft's Peter Bale, Executive Producer of MSN UK, held talks with representatives of newspaper publishers. According to TechCrunch "Microsoft plans to launch an assault on Google's flank, by cosying up to major content providers, especially newspapers, that feel hard done by Google News. It plans to use Bing as a way to entice them out of the Google eco-system, into one where, increasingly, the content of major newspapers could well be found more often on Bing than on Google."

If the plans are genuine and Microsoft is in secret talks with publishers then this could create a reason for many to switch from Google's news service to Microsoft's Bing News. If the deals extend beyond just news, offering publishers top spots in searches, then the effects are undeniably big.

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