Google CEO Eric Schmidt has hit back at Rupert Murdoch's News Corp's recent plans to charge for online news, claiming that it is a fundamentally flawed business model.
Speaking at a Royal Television Society event in Cambridge this week (via video link-up) Schmidt explained that too much quality general news content was available online, meaning that any attempt to charge for general news online would effectively be a non-starter.
Google's Chief Executive told the assembled group of British media execs in Cambridge that the only potential for making money from online news was in niche areas, such as business news.
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News Corporation's media empire includes The Sun, The Times and the New York Post. CEO Rupert Murdoch has said that he plans to start charging for online content at some point in 2010.
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Speaking about News Corp's plans to charge for news content online, Schmidt said:
"In general these models have not worked for general public consumption because there are enough free sources that the marginal value of paying is not justified based on the incremental value of quantity.
"So my guess is for niche and specialist markets ... it will be possible... but I think it is unlikely that you will be able to do it for all news."