Eric Schmidt, chief executive of Google, said the internet company had had talks with Rupert Murdoch and other newspaper proprietors about helping run subscription services for their online sites.
The talks may indicate a thawing of hostilities between Google and newspapers – particularly Mr Murdoch’s News Corp titles.
Mr Murdoch has repeatedly criticised Google for undermining newspapers by allowing internet users too much access to their valuable news content. Last November, he threatened to sue Google for including headlines from News International, which publishes of his UK titles, in its search results.
The Times and Sunday Times UK titles are next month set to introduce a paywall limiting access to their online news sites to paying customers. The papers will also withdraw their articles from Google’s search engine.