Numerous reports are emerging that Microsoft and media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, are in discussions about removing News Corporation indexes from Google and making its news content exclusively available on Microsoft’s Bing.
FT.com was the first to report the clandestine meeting, but as more details emerge it appears that this may be the first big threat to Google’s dominance of the internet. This follows from my previous blog that Murdoch was keen to charge for his companies news content and that Google, amongst others, was actually stealing it currently.
Microsoft, ever vigilant to take advantage of opportunities to increase usage of its Bing search engine, may have found a willing and powerful ally in Murdoch who has never feared ’tilting at windmills’ himself.
What this means is that if Google wants the right to point internet users to any News Corporation sites it may have to pay for the news or content accessed on those sites. This could have far-reaching ramifications for the wildly profitable Google as others rush to join the bandwagon.
The concept of paid searches is interesting to say the least. Instead of internet users being hammered with subscription or content charges, Google would be expected to pay for them, supposedly from the revenues generated from online advertising. Hmmm, sounds a lot like the ‘advertiser pays’ model being adopted for mobiles.
I can’t help thinking what the potential billing scenario will look like. Can you imagine the reconciliation nightmare, not dissimilar to some complex interconnect, where multiple players in the value chain may soon have their hand out? Could be a great opportunity here for telcos and billing vendors to offer their expertise to the millions of content providers on the web.