Rupert Murdoch Readying Lawsuit Against Google “Just In Case”

rupert_murdoch_1.1.10.jpgMedia mogul Rupert Murdoch is said to be readying a lawsuit against Google just in case talks between his News Corp and the online leader should happen to break down.

This little tidbit is neatly tucked into an extensive and in-depth article on Murdoch and News Corp appearing in New York Magazine. “The Raging Septuagenarian” quotes a senior media executive who is said to have “recently conferred” with Murdoch: “He’s pretty tightly wound up over Google and has been ready to sue them. He doesn’t trust them at all.”

News Corp’s goal is to eventually bundle all its newspaper content and deliver it to mobile devices through partnering with other publishers, not unlike the way television channels are bundled and made available through cable providers. As part of this plan, Jonathan Miller, former CEO of AOL, and Murdoch’s son James Murdoch, are in charge of leading a team to develop an online pay model while negotiating an agreement with Google. Miller, meanwhile, has also been in talks with Microsoft about the possibility of pulling all of News Corp.’s content from Google in order to sign an exclusive distribution deal with Bing.

Murdoch’s mistrust of online business might, some speculate, be a result of this particular industry being out of his comfort zone. As evidence, New York Magazine provides the following rational, nuanced exchange:

After Murdoch concluded his remarks on this month’s earnings call, the line was opened to journalists’ questions. The first came from a writer from the Guardian, the liberal British paper that is a vocal proponent of giving away its content on the web. “I wonder what you think of people who think that newspapers are sleepwalking into oblivion if they feel that they can buck an irreversible trend of content becoming free?”

“I think that sounds like b.s. to me,” Murdoch said.

“So you think that free-content strategy is not going to work?”

The operator called on the next reporter. This discussion was over.