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Google News stops hosting AP stories

By Julianne Pepitone, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Google News has stopped hosting new articles from the Associated Press the search giant confirmed Monday, in a sign that contract negotiations between the two companies may have broken down.

A source search for "The Associated Press" on Google News doesn't return any stories dated after Dec. 23, 2009.

"We have a licensing agreement with the Associated Press that permits us to host its content on Google properties such as Google News. Some of that content is still available today," a Google spokesman said in an email statement. "At the moment we're not adding new hosted content from the AP."

Google would not elaborate on that statement, and the AP declined to comment on the situation.

Reports say the AP has been hashing out a new licensing contract with Google (GOOG, Fortune 500), which has hosted the news agency's content since August 2007.

Google News displays stories from content providers around the globe, some of whom have negotiated licensing deals with Google, like the AP, while others have not.

The issue of whether news aggregators like Google News and Yahoo! (YHOO, Fortune 500) News should have to pay content providers to host its content has been a hot button issue for the online news industry.

"For most news publishers, cutting out Google doesn't make sense because they make their money from ads on their Web sites," said Karsten Weide, media industry analyst at research group IDC.

But the AP's revenue comes from selling content to the New York Times and other news outlets, rather than from advertising. "So it doesn't matter to them that Google is great at driving traffic to a site," Weide said.

For its part, Google News works with plenty of other news providers, so it's doubtful that the absence of the AP will hurt the search giant.

This is the latest development in a shifting news landscape, as publishers are considering whether to restrict Google's access to their content. In December, Google announced a policy that allows news publishers to limit the amount of subscription content that Internet users can access for free from its News page.

"News costs money to produce," Weide said, "and for publishers it's do or die." To top of page

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