Microsoft talks with News Corp. a shot across Google’s bow

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microsoft_small.jpgADOTAS – The enemy of my enemy is my friend, they say. Rupert Murdoch’s distaste for Google and his laments that it is killing the business of news have long been a public affair, but it looks as if he may be taking action after so much talk — with Google rival Microsoft.

The Financial Times reports that News Corp is talking to Microsoft about removing its sites from Google’s search index in exchange for cold, hard cash. Online content from the publisher’s many venerated papers would appear in Bing searches instead.

News Corp. is not the only publishing superhouse Microsoft is wooing. TechCrunch Europe reported a few weeks back that Microsoft held a secret meeting with European publishers — the majority of which were newspapers, including The Financial Times — in which it presented a remarkable deal for the struggling industry.

Of course, newspapers would be eager to hear this as they’ve been dying for someone to pay them for their online content for a while. Bypass the stubborn consumer whose determined to get his/her news for free? No problem.

The parent of The New York Post and The Wall Street Journal might be the first to bite. A deal with News Corp. could be the start of an all-out Microsoft assault on Google’s search share. Whether it’s enough to save the flailing newspaper industry is to be seen.

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