newscorpThe Financial Times is reporting this morning that Rubert Murdoch’s company initiated the discussions still only in the early stages. However, the paper has learned that Microsoft has also approached other big online publishers to persuade them to remove their sites from Google’s search engine. Microsoft seems intent on a direct assault on Google because it puts pressure on the search engine to start paying for content. Murdoch has said that he would use legal methods to prevent Google “stealing stories” published in his papers. Meanwhile, Microsoft has said it’s prepared to spend heavily for many years to make its new search engine Bing a serious rival to Google.