The Wall Street Journal says the Associated Press wants tighter restrictions on Yahoo’s use of wire stories, and that negotiations may wrap up “in the next few weeks.”
Official AP quote: “The AP is one of Yahoo’s most important content partners. Yahoo values our long-standing relationship with AP and expects it will continue for years to come.”
Google’s is also facing the renewal date of its AP contract and has stopped putting new AP content on Google News “in case a deal isn’t reached,” the Journal said.
The story also has a handy chart of comScore figures on Yahoo, Google and Microsoft traffic going to major newspaper Web sites — the Washington Post, L.A. Times, USA Today, New York Times and the WSJ itself. (There’s no text explaining the chart, but it looks to me like biz.yahoo.com sends the WSJ a lot of visitors.)
For students, here’s some background on the Associated Press:
Notice the “.org” — yes, AP is an organization, and non-profit. It calls itself “the backbone of the world’s information system,” which might be a title Google or Yahoo would like to arm-wrestle over.
The AP is a cooperative, owned by its base membership: 1,500 U.S. daily newspapers, and distributing contributions from those papers as well as its own staff of correspondents and photographers.
News Corp. and Microsoft Corp.
The WSJ article also mentions that “according to people familiar with the matter,” the newpaper’s parent company, News Corp., “has held discussions with Microsoft Corp. about a plan to remove the publisher’s newspaper content from Google’s search engine while continuing to feature it on Microsoft’s online properties.”
Here’s an earlier story from the not-NewsCorp-owned Guardian, with a few more colorful quotes (“parasite”) on News Corp.’s attitude toward Google.