News Corp. may pull out of Google News: reports

News reports say Microsoft has had discussions with News Corp. over a deal that would see the media company get paid to remove its news websites from Google.

News reports say Microsoft has had discussions with News Corp. over a deal that would see the media company get paid to remove its news websites from Google.

Microsoft Corp, the maker of Windows 7 software on display here, is ramping up its search engine war with rival Google Inc. ((Paul Sakuma, file/AP))

The Financial Times first reported the story Sunday, saying it has also learned that Microsoft approached other big online publishers to persuade them to remove their sites from Google.

According to a person familiar with the talks, the impetus for the discussions came from News Corp., owner of newspapers ranging from the Wall Street Journal to the Sun in the U.K., the Times reported.

News Corp. and Microsoft, which owns the rival Bing search engine, have declined to comment on the reports.

Microsoft's interest is being interpreted as a direct assault on Google because it puts pressure on the search engine to start paying for content.

The biggest beneficiary of a possible deal could be the newspaper industry, which has so far failed to come up with an online business model that adequately replaces declining print and advertising revenues.