Microsoft wants to take away news

Microsoft is holding talks with News Corporation and other media-companies to convince them to remove their news content from the Google search engine while continuing to feature their material on the Microsoft search engine. One source told the Financial Times that this initiative had originated with Keith Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and that talks are in their initial stages. News Corp and Microsoft representatives refused to comment.

Microsoft is making great efforts to have Bing, its search engine, become a worthy competitor to Google. According to Microsoft’s CEO, Steven Anthony Ballmer, the software giant plans on investing significant sums of money into the development of Bing. In particular, Bing seeks to provide access to exclusive material not available on other portals. According to comScore researchers, in October Bing’s share in total number of search queries in the U.S. amounted to 9.9% (during the time of its launch in June, its share was 8.4%), while Google’s share was over 65%.

News Corp. owns several major newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal and The Sun. The corporation has been considering offering its online content on a paid basis and its relations with Google have not been easy. Murdoch had even threatened to use legal measures to prevent Google from “stealing” material from his newspapers. “We believe search engines are of real benefit to newspapers, driving valuable traffic to their websites and connecting them with new readers around the world,” says Gabriel Stricker, Google spokesperson.

Google is stressing that news content is not especially important and is responsible for a “rather insignificant” share of its profits.

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