Microsoft to pay Murdoch to keep News sites off Google – WTF?

Do you spell Ballmer with one or two “l’s”?
Daylife/Reuters Pictures used by permission

Microsoft has had talks with News Corp about a tie up, which would involve News Corp getting paid to take its news websites off Google. News Corp, which owns such papers as the Wall Street Journal and the Sun, started the discussions, which were at an early stage, the source said.

News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch has said he wants to make people pay for access to his news websites. Other publishers including The New York Times are also searching for ways to charge for news online, convinced that they must not give news through search engines such as Google and Yahoo…

Microsoft, which relaunched its search engine as Bing this year, has been looking for ways to challenge market leader Google.

Earlier this year, it signed a 10-year global web search partnership with Yahoo, a deal that U.S. and European antitrust regulators are evaluating.

This not only sounds like an anti-trust violation, seems to me it would be restraint of trade under the Robinson-Patman Act. Not that either Murdoch or Ballmer really gives a hoot about ethics.

Then, there are reasonable considerations of the reception this cabal might receive among ordinary users of the Web and search engines. Yes, I might be concerned that Google wasn’t offering me 100% of what’s extant. No, I wouldn’t touch Bing with a 10-foot pole if they were skewing search results to offer up their business partners.

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