Although a few months have passed since the last big flareup, News Corp. may still be willing to go to war with Google. A fresh report indicates that Rupert Murdoch is indeed prepared to take the search giant to court, and has been talking to Microsoft about an exclusive deal, too.
Gabriel Sherman recently published a long profile of Murdoch for New York magazine, and within the profile, quoted someone he described as "a senior media executive." This person said with regards to the CEO and chairman of News Corp., "He’s pretty tightly wound up over Google and has been ready to sue them. He doesn’t trust them at all."
Then there was another interesting tidbit: apparently the Chief Digital Officer of News Corp., Jonathan Miller, "has also been in talks with Microsoft about possibly pulling all of News Corp.’s content from Google and signing an exclusive distribution deal with Bing."
Unfortunately, potential timetables weren’t outlined; there’s no telling whether Murdoch is willing to spend years negotiating with Google, or if he’ll unleash the lawyers next week.
Still, it sounds like Murdoch’s statements about blocking Google weren’t just so much bluster or a bluff. A showdown over whether or not online news should be free remains possible.