Rupert Murdoch, who has for ages been muttering about putting all of the content produced by News Corp. behind a pay wall in order to keep it away from Google, is attempting to force the company to change its attitude toward new media using a decidedly old-fashioned tactic: making them nervous about the competition. According to the Financial Times, Murdoch has been talking to Microsoft about being paid to remove its news content from Google’s search engine and making it available on Microsoft’s search engine, the relatively uncool Bing. Says the FT:
Philippe Jannet, chief executive of Le Monde Interactif, said News Corp’s move was “crafty”. “Murdoch is playing on competition between Bing and Google. What he is doing is remarkable because it is a commercial solution. The French media, on the other hand, instinctively turn towards the state [for help].”
Even if Murdoch doesn’t really have any intention of going through with a Microsoft deal (there are all kinds of issues, among them that barely anyone in America uses Bing), putting the rumor of a dalliance out there can only serve to enhance both of their statuses. The old man’s still got it in him.