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Microsoft and News Corp To Consider Web Pact?
engine




msg:4030014
 12:47 pm on Nov 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

Microsoft and News Corp To Consider Web Pact? [ft.com]
Microsoft has had discussions with News Corp over a plan that would involve the media company being paid to “de-index” its news websites from Google, setting the scene for a search engine battle that could offer a ray of light to the newspaper industry.

The impetus for the discussions came from News Corp, owner of newspapers ranging from the Wall Street Journal of the US to The Sun of the UK, said a person familiar with the situation, who warned that talks were at an early stage.

However, the Financial Times has learnt that Microsoft has also approached other big online publishers to persuade them to remove their sites from Google’s search engine.

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


 

willybfriendly




msg:4031688
 6:30 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think you meant "opt-out," but in any case, that's how search engines have always worked, and anyone who publishes on the Web is responsible for understanding the nature of the medium.

I suspect he meant exactly what he wrote. Google wants the web to be opt-in by default, forcing you to take action to prevent access to content.

Your other arguments are becoming increasingly tenuous with each post. Are their hidden agendas at play here?

The issue here is very much IP rights, not conspiracy theories, price fixing cartels or the destruction of the Internet as we know it. That Google has consistently pushed the limits of IP rights for corporate profit is widely acknowledged. That publishers with deep enough pockets to take a stand are finally doing so should come as no shock to anyone.

londrum




msg:4031701
 6:38 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

i meant opt-out, i've had a long day...
although i'm confused now, so maybe i meant opt-in.

but this is what i meant: google wants it so they can take anything they want, unless we bolt and padlock our door and say they can't.

kaled




msg:4031760
 7:40 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

signor_john wrote
If the search engines are making more from their news SERPs than the media companies are from their news pages (and that's something you haven't demonstrated), the media companies are obviously doing something wrong.

1) You misunderstand the issue - if displaying news results in serps is in any way profitable, then the news media are entitled to the lion's share of that profit.
2) The "something" that the media companies are doing wrong is giving away their content.

Like it or not, antitrust laws do exist

Like it or not, existing anti-trust laws have more or less zero relevance to this deal. Exclusive partnership deals are an everyday part of business. Provided everything is open and above-board and the public is not significantly disadvantaged, then there is no possibility of existing anti-trust rules being breached.

Kaled.

signor_john




msg:4031810
 8:40 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

You misunderstand the issue - if displaying news results in serps is in any way profitable, then the news media are entitled to the lion's share of that profit.

That hypothesis has never been tested in court, as far as I know--probably because the media organizations know "fair use" when they see it.

The "something" that the media companies are doing wrong is giving away their content.

"Giving away" content never hurt broadcast television or radio. The challenge for news organizations (the focus of this discussion) is in earning enough advertising revenue to make their online operations profitable. It has nothing to do with news search engines, except to the extent that news organizations have become addicted to low-value drive-by traffic from third-party sources like Google News. If Rupert Murdoch is able to get a subsidy from Microsoft (in return for helping Microsoft to thumb its corporate nose at Google), that won't cure News Corp.'s ills; it will merely soothe the pain until the Microsoft subsidy runs out.

Like it or not, existing anti-trust laws have more or less zero relevance to this deal. Exclusive partnership deals are an everyday part of business.

I was talking about apples; you're obfuscating with oranges. My response was to Hugene's suggestion that news organizations form a cartel to block all news search bots except Microsoft's.

kaled




msg:4031883
 10:07 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

One or more cartels seems the likely outcome. They would not see themselves as "blocking" Google or any other search engine, rather, they would see themselves are granting exclusive rights as part of a business arrangement.

It would be possible, theoretically, for Google to continue to index those news sites, but I suspect that a legal case would ensue and I would expect Google to loose. I doubt they would go down that road, but they might. Instead, they could mount a legal challenge, citing anti-trust issues, but I would certainly expect them to loose that too.

Ultimately, it is likely that Google will either have to stump up some cash or loose news from their index. If this deal goes ahead, then in a few years, it is possible that all search engines will once again have access to news but only if they pay for the privilege. If all the search engines decide that they're not going to pay for news, then we'll either go back to square one or people will have to search news websites individually.

Having said all that, the single biggest threat to the printed news media in the UK is the BBC News website. Even journalists admit that it's the first place they go to find out what's happening.

Kaled.

signor_john




msg:4031894
 10:40 pm on Nov 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

If this deal goes ahead, then in a few years, it is possible that all search engines will once again have access to news but only if they pay for the privilege. If all the search engines decide that they're not going to pay for news, then we'll either go back to square one or people will have to search news websites individually.

IMHO, it's doubtful that search engines would pay to index search sites, with the possible exceptions of a few high-profile brands that can be used as loss leaders to increase a search engine's market share and stick it to a competitor (as in the case of the proposed Microsoft-News Corp. deal).

If news traffic isn't profitable for the news publishers--who have a lot more opportunities to slap AdSense ads, display ads, affiliate links, rich-media ads, etc. on their pages than the search engines do--then it's unlikely to be profitable for sites like Google News (which, as far as I can tell, displays ads only on news SERPs that result from search queries).

Fact is, news publishers need traffic (even the low-quality traffic they get from search engines) more than the search engines need news publishers. Are Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo going to pay the owner of the WIDGETVILLE CHRONICLE or Lyman's Libertarian Blog for the privilege of indexing their content and sending them traffic? Don't bet on it.

loudspeaker




msg:4031962
 12:56 am on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

If news traffic isn't profitable for the news publishers--who have a lot more opportunities to slap AdSense ads, display ads, affiliate links, rich-media ads, etc. on their pages than the search engines do--then it's unlikely to be profitable for sites like Google News (which, as far as I can tell, displays ads only on news SERPs that result from search queries).

The incremental costs for Google are close to 0. They don't produce any content and adding more of it basically costs nothing. How can it be "unprofitable"? Anything above 0 will do.

Newspapers who actually spend big bucks creating that content can not be content with a few clicks here and there. At the very least, they need to cover their direct costs (per article) - and that's not to mention their huge overhead.

signor_john




msg:4031983
 2:11 am on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Newspapers who actually spend big bucks creating that content can not be content with a few clicks here and there. At the very least, they need to cover their direct costs (per article) - and that's not to mention their huge overhead.

Yes, and that's why most news publishers welcome traffic from search engines like Google News, even if they wish they didn't have to compete with their out-of-town peers in a global information economy.

Getting back to the topic of the proposed Microsoft/News Corp. deal, try this scenario on for size:

- Microsoft pays $15 million to have Murdoch "de-list" his most important global news property, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, from Google (as suggested by a columnist at SILICON VALLEY INSIDER, who estimates that the WSJ gets traffic worth $10 to $15 million a year from Google).

- The WSJ becomes invisible on Google News, its traffic drops, and its archrival, the FINANCIAL TIMES, gains both visibility and traffic as a result.

- Long-term consequences:

1) The WSJ becomes weaker, and the FINANCIAL TIMES (which matches or beats the WSJ for quality) becomes stronger.

2) After a year or two or three, Microsoft drops its subsidy of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL.

The winners in this scenario? Certainly not Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Microsoft might have picked up a little search market share, though probably not enough to justify a $15, $30, or $45 million outlay. The real winners are Google, which has proven that Rupert needs Google more than Google needs Rupert, and the FINANCIAL TIMES, which has gained market share and brand awareness thanks to THE WALL STREET JOURNAL and Microsoft.

willybfriendly




msg:4031986
 2:25 am on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

If news traffic isn't profitable for the news publishers--who have a lot more opportunities to slap AdSense ads, display ads, affiliate links, rich-media ads, etc. on their pages than the search engines do--then it's unlikely to be profitable for sites like Google News (which, as far as I can tell, displays ads only on news SERPs that result from search queries).

You ignore the most likely click paths.

Example:

I type 'west bank' into the Google home page search box

I am presented with a page with Five (5) ads down the right side (above the fold). But, I am looking for news, so I click on the fifth entry - "News Results for West Bank"

I am taken to a page with three (3) ads down the right side (above the fold). I go ahead and click on a Faux News entry - "Israel to Announce Moratorium on West Bank Settlement Activity"

Here I find a news story. There is one banner ad below the header, one banner on the right side (above the fold) and three "sponsored links" below the article.

My little journey has presented me with 5 ads on Google pages and 5 on the news page.

In this case Google has had more opportunities to strategically place ads than the publisher.

willybfriendly




msg:4031990
 2:30 am on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

A follow up to my above post, since it deserves its own (and maybe even its own thread).

When I visited the Faux News story re West Bank I find a number of linked phrases that open an AJAX Bing Search box (apparently powered by Vibrant Media).

Is this new? I must admit I don't go to Faux very often, preferring the more balanced reporting of BBC and the like.

If new, does it reflect some quid pro quo between MS and Murdoch taking place already?

willybfriendly




msg:4031999
 2:52 am on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Microsoft pays $15 million to have Murdoch "de-list" his most important global news property, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, from Google (as suggested by a columnist at SILICON VALLEY INSIDER, who estimates that the WSJ gets traffic worth $10 to $15 million a year from Google).

You continue to misframe the issue, even after being provided with multiple sources to the contrary.

Changes the entire scenario.

- Microsoft pays your $15 million for exclusive rights to the WSJ and FT
- Microsoft advertises itself as the sole provider of search for such illustrious publications as the WSJ and FT
- Bing picks up a number morning commuters looking for something to read on their netbook, iPhone, or ironically, their droid.
- User discover that Bing search results are not half bad, and certainly less cluttered tha Google's. In fact, they can usually find what they are looking for above the fold (not to mention those pictures with the easter eggs are pretty neat!).
- Bing's market share begins to grow exponentially, for the first time threatening Google's virtual stranglehold on Internet search
- Having discovered a successful strategy, Microsoft develops a micro-payment system that is extended to all news organizations willing to grant exclusive rights, coincidentally depriving Google of the one thing it needs to continue its current business model - free content.

Think of it as iNews. It might just work for everyone involved, particularly if MS ad revenues from the news service produce revenue in excess of the payments being made to publishers (although at this point I suspect MS would be perfectly happy to break even, or even operate at a loss for market share).

signor_john




msg:4032020
 3:48 am on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

You continue to misframe the issue

Not according to the FINANCIAL TIMES.

willybfriendly




msg:4032063
 6:15 am on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

How about NPR

Hoping to improve its position, Microsoft is said to be in talks with News Corp, Rupert Murdoch's publicly-traded news conglomerate, to set a pay deal for exclusive access to the company's content.

Or, PC World

The deal will allegedly give Microsoft's Bing search engine the exclusive rights to deliver search results and news pages with New Corp. content

Or, CBS news

Exclusivity agreements with publishers would be a way to differentiate Bing from Google for users.

Over here [youtube.com] Mahalo CEO Jason Calacanis points out that Google has already negotiated an exclusive rights deal with Twitter (for access to their feed) and argues pursuasively that Bing negotiating for exclusive rights to major news outlets would be an extremely powerful strategy.

Point made?

zett




msg:4032064
 6:21 am on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

Microsoft pays $15 million to have Murdoch "de-list" his most important global news property, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, from Google

Microsoft would never pay for de-listing. As willybfriendly and others have pointed out several times in this thread, Microsoft would pay for (and the WSJ would grant) exclusive access to news articles.

The price would probably be even higher than $15m, because of the exclusivity. Also, a good price for the exclusive rights will attract other struggling major news organisations. If Microsoft can gather a bunch of high-profile brands on their news portal, they will become the first place to look for news.

And THIS is what Google is afraid of - to lose this important part of the MINDSHARE. People will start their sentences with "I read this morning on Bing that..." instead of "I googled...". Oh what joy!

(And sure, I know that discussions here won't convince you that this deal is GOOD for creators and publishers.)

kaled




msg:4032168
 12:52 pm on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

If there's one thing that Microsoft has in common with the Murdoch group it's the knowledge of how to make money. Sure, both have made mistakes but where money is concerned they get more things right than wrong. If they enter into this deal (and others follow) it seems unlikely to me that any parties to the agreement will loose out, except perhaps, Microsoft, if they fail to take full advantage or pay too much money.

Kaled.

londrum




msg:4032219
 2:43 pm on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

and if they're actually paying for it, they might be able to show a bit more of the content than google currently do.

if people visit google news just for those little snippets, presumably bing's traffic will jump even higher if they were allowed to publish a paragraph. (maybe those leading paragraphs that summarise each story)

signor_john




msg:4032230
 3:01 pm on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

if people visit google news just for those little snippets, presumably bing's traffic will jump even higher if they were allowed to publish a paragraph. (maybe those leading paragraphs that summarise each story)

I doubt if a large number of people are going to jump from Google News to Bing because Bing has full paragraphs from THE NEW YORK POST (or even THE WALL STREET JOURNAL) along with its other news snippets, but even if that were to occur, it's hard to see how that would benefit Mr. Murdoch's News Corp unless:

(a) Microsoft were to pay enough to compensate News Corp. for the loss of Google News traffic, plus[i]...

(b) enough to compensate for the loss of traffic from having "leading paragraphs" in Bing, [i]plus...

[c] enough to compensate for the loss in brand awareness that would result from his properties' disappearing from the leading news search engine.

It's worth noting again that Mr. Murdoch's real problem isn't that the fact that Google is displaying headlines and snippets from his news properties; his real problem is that Google is displaying headlines and snippets from his competitors' news properties. "De-listing" his news sites from Google, or negotiating a short-term subsidy from Microsoft, won't make his competition go away or become less visible: If anything, it will have the opposite effect.

kaled




msg:4032353
 7:36 pm on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

In addition to paying for exclusivity (and the bragging rights that come with that) Microsoft could offer the news media 100% of all advertising revenues. That may not be sustainable in the long term but nobody should be trying to look more than a couple of years into the future.

If MS do offer this sort of deal (and maybe an escape clause) it's hard to see why any news organization would say no. This would give them three bites of the apple instead of one. That sort of deal would be an absolute no-brainer. Of course, Microsoft would have to put money into advertising their exclusive-rights and they would need to sign up most of the major players for this to work, but work it should.

Essentially it all comes down to one "simple" assessment - how much is Microsoft willing to spend in order to score big points over Google. Microsoft have the money to do this, but whether they have the will and the negotiating skills has yet to be determined.

Kaled.

londrum




msg:4032369
 8:07 pm on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's worth noting again that Mr. Murdoch's real problem isn't that the fact that Google is displaying headlines and snippets from his news properties; his real problem is that Google is displaying headlines and snippets from his competitors' news properties.

you keep on banging that drum, but i don't think it's as important as you're making out. after all, papers compete with other papers whenever and wherever they are sold, it's nothing new. when you go down to the railway station and pick up a paper, there's about ten others and two hundred magazines just two inches away. why is that not a problem as well?

and google news does not promote murdoch's competitors as much as you're making out. if i look at the leading story on google news' UK page right now, then i see big links to the 'Telegraph', 'YouTube' and the 'Independant Catholic News'. But they are not competitors. Telegraph readers are not going to suddenly switch over to the Catholic News, any more than readers of the New York Times are going to switch over to the 'Canadian Times', 'Liverpool Echo', 'Scotsman', 'Xinhua', 'Hindu', 'Times of India', 'Aljazera.net', 'Jerusalem Post', 'Building.co.uk', 'Computer Weekly', 'Digital Spy', 'Teletext', 'AngryApe', 'Wikipedia', 'This is Money', 'Retail Week' and 'Mad.co.uk' (...all big links on that same front page).

aleksl




msg:4032399
 8:54 pm on Nov 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

guys, one more misconception:

Faux is not News. Faux = Spin (aside from WSJ, althought that's quite biased as well).

So if Bing has exclusive access to Faux, it'll only mean that

Bing = Spin.

:)

Said that...it is an interesting development. What I could imagine is that each party signs exclusive deals with one or more networks. Effectively making them politically biased. In this case, a void develops for a 3rd party news engine that can collect and sort independent, "unpaid" news.

skipfactor




msg:4032540
 4:19 am on Nov 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

>>Bing = Spin

Bing = spin + quasi-paid organic news results

signor_john




msg:4033054
 3:47 am on Nov 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

papers compete with other papers whenever and wherever they are sold, it's nothing new.

You apparently live in the UK, where there's more newspaper competition than there is in the United States, thanks primarily to the existence of national papers (although quite a few local and regional papers in Britain are facing their own problems these days). In the U.S.--a country with a population of about 300 million--most cities have one or two daily newspapers, and only a handful of papers are distributed in significant numbers outside their home cities. This means that, until recently, the typical U.S. daily had a monopoly on printed news and (just as important) on daily newspaper advertising in its market.

Thanks to news search engines, owing a metropolitan newspaper in the U.S. is no longer a license to print money--partly for reasons that have nothing do with Google News (such as Craiglist), but also because a reader in Des Moines can now choose from THE NEW YORK TIMES, the WASHINGTON POST, THE GUARDIAN, and hundreds or even thousands of other news sources on the Web. This is a huge change for the newspaper industry, and if you don't understand that, rest assured that people in the media industry (including Rupert Murdoch) do.

It's worth noting that what's bad for newspaper publishers and staff isn't necessarily bad for the general public, which now has far better access to quality news reporting than was the case a few years ago. For example, the New Yorker who, until recently, had only one major source of text news in the afternoon (the NEW YORK POST) now even has more choice than I did in my youth when I was able to buy the POST, the WORLD-TELEGRAM, or the JOURNAL-AMERICAN at my corner newsstand in Greenwich Village. That New Yorker doesn't need the NEW YORK POST for afternoon news; he can go to Google News, scan the headlines, and click through to the Web sites of news media from around the world. That's the problem that Rupert Murdoch faces, and cadging money from Microsoft won't turn back the clock.

kaled




msg:4033181
 12:31 pm on Nov 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

he can go to Google News, scan the headlines, and click through to the Web sites of news media from around the world. That's the problem that Rupert Murdoch faces, and cadging money from Microsoft won't turn back the clock.

You have more or less identified the problem correctly, however, if this deal goes ahead and others follow, then Google News will be dead in the water - to that extent the clock will certainly be rolled back. Whether the News Media benefit from such a deal is yet to be determined, but right now, online news is killing printed news (the main source of revenue) so if Microsoft offers any reasonable deal, they would be foolish to turn it down.

You need to get your head around two simple facts...
1) From Microsoft's point of view this is about bragging rights (not direct profits).
2) If Microsoft offers enough money, the media will sign up - they would be idiots not to.

You can argue from now until the cows come home what would constitute a good deal for the News Media, but Microsoft has enough money to make this happen so we will just have to wait and see if they have the will to do so.

Kaled.

signor_john




msg:4033217
 3:20 pm on Nov 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

You need to get your head around two simple facts...
1) From Microsoft's point of view this is about bragging rights (not direct profits).
2) If Microsoft offers enough money, the media will sign up - they would be idiots not to.

Point (2) is an awfully big "if." Paying Rupert Murdoch for "bragging rights" to a few high-profile properties (such as THE WALL STREET JOURNAL) is one thing. Subsidizing the entire news-publishing industry just to thumb one's corporate nose at Google wouldn't be practical or realistic, and it isn't going to happen.

londrum




msg:4033229
 3:41 pm on Nov 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

you're assuming that microsoft aren't going to make any money out of news.
if that is true, then google can't be making any money out of it either.

so why are they doing it then? google aren't a public service, they are a company like any other. if google news was losing them money then they'd dump it.

google news makes google money. maybe not through ads, but through ads on other pages. it leads people to google's other services -- like youtube.

bing is going to benefit in the exact same way.

signor_john




msg:4033293
 7:09 pm on Nov 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

you're assuming that microsoft aren't going to make any money out of news.

No, I'm assuming that Microsoft wouldn't earn enough from news to subsidize the news industry. What's more, Microsoft has better things to do with its cash (and its time) than try to buy its way into an online news-search monopoly. That's a fantasy scenario.

For Microsoft, a deal with Rupert Murdoch would be a relatively inexpensive way to give Google a Simpsons-style "HA ha!," but that's all it would be.

kaled




msg:4033350
 10:22 pm on Nov 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

It's a guess, but if Microsoft set aside a billion dollars to sign up 80% of the world's major news media for two years, they'd probably get what they wanted - that's small change to Microsoft, they might well be prepared to go much higher. Let's not forget that having the news media onside will be extremely useful if a full-blown operating system war breaks out.

Personally, I still think the news media will have to pull out of the internet altogether or switch to subscriptions eventually, but until they take that decision, a little folding money from Microsoft will help pay the journalists, etc.

Kaled.

willybfriendly




msg:4033353
 10:33 pm on Nov 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

What's more, Microsoft has better things to do with its cash (and its time) than try to buy its way into an online news-search monopoly

Perhaps misframed (yet again). Does MS have better things to do with its cash and time than to break an online search monopoly?

It is not about news, from the MS perspective. It is about mind (and market) share for search itself. The Google business model absolutely depends on access free content. Does stemming the supply of free content make sense? I think so.

signor_john




msg:4033357
 11:09 pm on Nov 28, 2009 (gmt 0)

It is not about news, from the MS perspective. It is about mind (and market) share for search itself. The Google business model absolutely depends on access free content. Does stemming the supply of free content make sense? I think so.

Wishful thinking won't change the fact that the lid was lifted on Pandora's Box a long time ago.

zett




msg:4033450
 7:18 am on Nov 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Wishful thinking won't change the fact that the lid was lifted on Pandora's Box a long time ago.

Sure, wishful thinking won't change the way the online world is strangled by Google today. But Microsoft's deep pockets might change this. For good.

I see absolutely NOTHING wrong with the idea that digital content has a value. Individual micro-publishers like you and me do not have the power to change the game. A group of content producers together with Microsoft has that power. Or at least a good chance to break the online monopoly Google has.

I repeat it again and again - Google's desire to grab whatever is available online is NOT GOOD for publishers; it's good for Google though. In theory -if they were a transparent, not-for-profit organization- there is nothing wrong with having such an organization. But let's face it - they are probably the most intransparent organization on the world (so intransparent that even their employees often do not know what other groups within Google are doing). And they are in just for the money. And they built their empire around the "free access to everything" model. And that "everything" is often supplied by publishers who suffer now.

They have all the interest in the world to promote the idea of "access to free content is necessary", and "paying publishers for content is a bad idea". Because - in their view it is. That may explain why we see such a heavy reaction from MV on this topic.

Google are afraid of two things:

1) Losing mindshare. As outlined before, Google's unwillingness to pay for news content may drive news organizations into Microsoft's arms. Exclusively. As a consequence, people will use Bing News more frequently, and it is natural to assume that they will also use Bing search more often. BIG RISK for Google.

2) In a second step, Google might lose their ability to access everything on the web for free. It might turn into "free access just to the dreck of the web" for them, and this will hurt their #1 position in search. And this can happen quickly; all it takes is an entry in robots.txt. HUGE RISK. Every publisher that can sign up for a money-paying exclusive deal will do so. (Why should this be restricted to just news?) Until now there has been no market for that. Microsoft and Murdoch have changed this. If such a deal comes through, there finally is a market for digital quality content.

Publishers should cheer for the sign of hope that finally their exclusive content -which is expensive to create- might be worth something that reflects on the bank account.

signor_john




msg:4033592
 5:56 pm on Nov 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

Zett, I fail to see how letting Microsoft become the Web's gatekeeper by helping News Corp. and other megacorporations turn it into a TCP/IP equivalent of the cable-TV industry would benefit independent content publishers. Do you seriously believe that Microsoft is going to pay you, me, or other people like us for the privilege of indexing our content? I don't.

In any case, the argument is academic, because Microsoft isn't going to take over the Web, no matter how much you might wish for that to happen. What's more, other search engines (such as Google) aren't going to lose their ability to crawl and index information on the Web just because Rupert Murdoch contacted Microsoft and offered to opt out of Google News in exchange for a handout.

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