The Financial Times reports (behind an annoying paywall, alas; you may have to search from Google or register to read it) that Google and Rupert Murdoch’s News.corp may be on the way to making peace.

Murdoch and Google had been famously at odds over the last few months over newspaper stories’ inclusion in Google’s on-line search engines, with Murdoch even suggesting at one point that suing Google was not out of the question.

Murdoch’s UK newspapers, the Times and Sunday Times, are soon to go behind their own paywalls, and withdraw their articles from Google’s search engine. But Google and Murdoch have also been in talks about using Google’s payment service, Google Checkout, to let subscribers pay for content.

“We have talked to Rupert and quite a few others. I think we currently have peace. We have talked to News Corp and other companies for a months on these sorts of things,” [Google CEO Eric] Schmidt told journalists on Tuesday at Google’s Zeitgeist conference outside London.

It is going to be interesting to see how well Murdoch’s sites do after the paywall takes effect. The anti-paywall crowd has consistently maintained that retreating from search engines is tantamount to a death sentence; now we will get to see who is right!


  1. Actually, we may not see who is right for a while still. The long-term effects are more important than the short-term effects. People dedicated to a certain newspaper won’t disappear over night, so there might be a temporary increase in subscriptions. I wouldn’t expect the model to be sustainable over the long-term, though.

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