Microsoft and News Corp. double-team Google?

Proving once again that wearing a number one tag will put you directly in the sights of numbers two through what ever, reports are circulating that Microsoft Corp. offered Wall Street Journal parent News Corp. and several other online publishers financial incentives to remove their reports from Google’s search engine.

Bloomberg citing a Financial Times report, said the talks -- which reportedly are at an early stage -- are a “direct assault” on Google, that may result in Google paying for content.

Google declined to comment on the report, a side from saying “We believe search engines are of real benefit to newspapers,” adding that it has a policy to respect the wishes of content owners.

Google continues to lead the search-engine pack, with more than a 65% share of the market. Yahoo has 18% and Microsoft 9.9%.

For more:
- read this Bloomberg report