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Google drops plan to buy newspaper

Original post made by googlewatch, News on Mountain View's largest employer, on May 21, 2009

Google seriously considered buying a newspaper and using its philanthropic arm to help news outlets become non-profits, but did neither, the London-based Financial Times reported on Wednesday.

CEO Eric Schmidt reportedly told the Financial Times that Google is now "trying to avoid crossing the line" between content and technology.

The company's philanthropic arm, the foundation, had looked at "clever" ways to use non-profit structures to save newspapers but "they are unlikely to happen without some massive, massive set of corporate bankruptcies," Schmidt reportedly said.

In general, Schmidt said the newspapers the company was looking at buying or investing in carried too many liabilities or were too expensive. Schmidt would not comment on the 20 percent share in the New York Times that Google has been offered by a hedge fund.

Schmidt said Google was now working with newspapers like the Washington Post to improve online revenue potential, through things like improved advertising methods and he suggested micro-donations for specialized content.

For the complete story including video of the interview, click [Web Link here].


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