Rumours are growing around the possibility of Microsoft paying News Corporation to remove its content from Google.
Rupert Murdoch, the CEO of media giant News Corporation, has spoken publicly about his dislike of free content on the web, and is currently building a new website for The Times that will charge readers.
Stories have now appeared in the Financial Times and on TechCrunch describing alleged meetings between Microsoft and News Corporation about the possibility of all of News Corporation's content being listed exclusively on Microsoft's Bing search engine.
The idea provides a new possibility in the hunt for a business model for newspapers on the internet, if other search engines are willing to pay to have access to providers' content.
Microsoft said it "does not comment on rumour or speculation".
Google said it is keen to work with publishing companies to find ways for them to make money.
"Publishers put their content on the web because they want it to be found," it said. "Google is a tremendous source of promotion for news organisations, sending them about 100,000 clicks every minute, so very few choose not to include their material in Google's index. But the publisher is in control - if they ask us not to include their content, we won't. We work closely with the newspaper industry to help find long-term and sustainable models for making money from news."