Microsoft has had talks with News Corp. about a tie up, which would involve News Corp. getting paid to take its news Web sites off Google Inc., a source familiar with the matter said on Sunday.
News Corp., which owns such papers as the Wall Street Journal and the Sun, started the discussions, which were at an early stage, the source said.
Microsoft has also talked with other online publishers about removing their sites from Google, according to the Financial Times, which first reported the development.
Microsoft could not be reached immediately on Sunday. News Corp. declined to comment. The source is anonymous because the talks are not public.
(Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)