AP chief: 'Microsoft-Google battle is good news for us'

Associated Press has hinted that it will seek to capitalise on the upcoming battle between Google and Microsoft for dominance of the internet by changing the terms under which it licences content to search engines.

AP, like Press Association in the UK, currentlysells some of its content directly to online aggregators such as Google.

AP chief executive Tom Curley yesterday told the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents’ Club that the agency may start selling some content exclusively to certain online customers for a period of perhaps half an hour.

AP’s current content contracts with Google, Yahoo and Microsoft’s MSN portal are understood to be up for renewal soon.

Curley said: “I think we stand at an enviable moment where Microsoft and Google have decided to go to war,” according to an AP report.

He said: “Products can be reserved, and there can be exclusives given, perhaps on a time-base measure. Those who get access to that content and the rich multimedia or metadata that comes with it might get an exclusive for, oh, 20 or 30 minutes.”

AP has confirmed that it is negotiating new contracts with Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

Microsoft has struck a deal with Yahoo to process search requests which could pose a major challenge to Google if it gains regulatory approval.

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