Google News Stops Hosting New AP Content
In a sign that Google’s negotiations with the Associated Press over a new licensing contract may have reached a standstill, new AP articles are no longer being hosted in Google (NSDQ: GOOG) News; Search Engine Land‘s Danny Sullivan, who first reported the development, says that new AP articles haven’t been hosted on the site since Dec. 24. Google isn’t providing an explanation. The company’s full statement: “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. At the moment we’re not adding new hosted content from the AP.”
However, the AP has been in the process of renegotiating its licensing agreement with Google, as well as the big portals—and there have been signs that at least the Google talks have not been going so well. AP CEO Tom Curley, for instance, hinted in October that Google, unlike Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), hadn’t been willing to acquiesce to some of the AP’s demands, including that it have access to real-time metrics. “We haven’t talked. We haven’t talked. We haven’t talked with them in any serious way,” he said.
The Google deal dates back to three years ago, when the AP gave Google a license to use its content in unspecified ways. In August 2007, Google began to host material produced by the AP, along with other news agencies, directly on Google News for 30 days.
Sullivan theorizes that because the agreement is set to expire at the end of January, Google may be trying to avoid the complication of hosting AP stories that would have to be pulled down in fewer than 30 days. Presumably, that wouldn’t be a concern if it was clear that both sides were willing to re-up.
We’ve reached out to the AP for comment and will update when we hear back. Updated: The AP is not commenting.