Will Microsoft Pay Murdoch to Opt Out of Google?

By  |  Monday, November 23, 2009 at 9:41 am

It’s just a rumor, but a fascinating one: Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. is supposedly talking to Microsoft about some sort of deal that would involve Microsoft giving News Corp. a boatload of cash to block Google from indexing its news sites, so Microsoft’s Bing could step in and become News Corp.’s official search engine. I have no idea whether there’s any truth to it, but the idea plays into the ¬†whole “Google should be paying content companies” meme that Murdoch and others have been pushing.

If Murdoch was to yank his news sites out of Google’s index, that would only leave…well, all of the world’s news sources except for those owned by Rupert Murdoch. You gotta think that the harm to Google would be minimal, and that the harm to Murdoch’s sites might be considerable. If most of the world uses Google to find stuff–and it does–don’t you want your stuff to be there? Or can you imagine saying to yourself “Hmmm, I want to make sure that the New York Post shows up in my search results–guess I’ll use Bing?”

As a consumer, the notion of search engines cutting deals with content companies to opt in or opt out of certain engines leaves me antsy. If the practice caught on, we’d be left with a scenario in which no search engine could aspire to be comprehensive, and we’d be stuck having to use several engines if we wanted to find everything of value.

Even so, I remain in the apparent small minority of pundits who would like to see Murdoch do something about the supposed relentless persecution of his poor, struggling business by a bullying, thieving Google. If that something involved an alliance with Microsoft, everybody involved would learn a lot, no?


Read more: , , , ,

5 Comments For This Post

  1. D9 Says:

    Yes, it’s hard to feel empathy for a multi-billionaire who made his fortune buying up the competition to establish his own media giant. You’re right on in that this is more PR than reality…unless Murdoch doesn’t really care if people come to his news sites.

    Honestly, I’m not going to “Google” a news item because I can’t read it on the WSJ site? Get real, Rupert.

    Of course, who better to get in bed with on this scheme that the Evil Empire and it’s “business before customer” approach to everything!


  2. IcyFog Says:

    Really, I couldn’t care less. I have little use for Fox News and even less for Microsoft.

  3. mtnthc Says:

    IcyFog, ditto,…

  4. tom b Says:

    I think MSFT is remembering the “halcyon days” of the previous administration where antitrust violations were conveniently swept under the rug.

  5. mwitt Says:

    If the Microsoft-Murdoch deal is on, how much must Microsoft pay the media mogul for his news? And if other news organizations join in, then I guess Microsoft will become an even bigger Sugar Daddy. At this point in time, I just don’t get it how long Microsoft can continue to pay these guys who are not making much themselves nowadays as news purveyors.

    Assuming all this scheming to block Google turns out to be like Don Quixote battling the windmill, then would Microsoft call off the deal? Microsoft’s war chest, no matter how large, is not bottomless.

    This is an interesting development and we want to know how great the impact on us when the “evil empire” strikes back.