No sooner did I write my latest post on how Google could be in danger of the feds investigating them due to antitrust concerns does this entry turn up explaining how Rupert Murdoch and other newspapers could stop Google from indexing their content and force Bing to pay them for the right to do so. Murdoch has been threatening more and more loudly to take his content away from Google and most of us with any web savvy at all thought this would be similar in effectiveness to putting your head in sand when you are afraid.
But this Bing idea would shift the balance of power overnight. I am sure all websites would like to get paid by Bing for being included in their indexes. But if Bing became the only place you could find the most important news of the day, wouldn't the number two search company pick up at least another 5-10% marketshare?
But what about setting negative precedent? I am reminded of the good old days when I was in high school and Michael Jackson wanted to get MTV to pay for the Thriller video which cost a fortune. Instead, not wanting to set precedent, MTV decided to pay for the "Making of Thriller" video. Problem solved.
So perhaps Microsoft could instead buy a few million copies of the Wall Street Journal and New York Times? Or how about throwing in a newspaper subscription coupon in every copy of Windows 7? Hey wait, a minute - that could work.
Of course this doesn't eliminate Google as a search monopoly but if enough media companies jump on the bandwagon would the balance of power be distributed more evenly and would Google be forced to start paying media companies for the content they link to?