News Corp has announced plans to introduce pay-walls for The Times and The Sunday Times web sites in an effort to curb the financial losses which News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch has blamed on search sites such as Google.
The new system will be introduced in June, and will charge £1 a day or £2 a week for access to the site's content, according to a report in The Times. Pricing for international visitors has been set at $2/€1.5 (£1.35) a day or $4/€3 (£2.70) a week.
The move follows a long-running spat in which Murdoch has accused companies like Google, Microsoft and Ask of "stealing" content by letting users find and read stories for free through search engines.
Murdoch has also stated that search companies should pay for the privilege of featuring his sites' content in search listings, and is rumoured to be considering legal action against Google.
The media mogul has also threatened to remove links from Google when his company brings in the pay-walls later this year.
Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News Corp, told The Times that the new system will help the site to generate a new audience, and confirmed that The Sun and The News of the World will follow suit.
"At a defining moment for journalism, this is a crucial step towards making the business of news an economically exciting proposition. We are proud of our journalism and unashamed to say that we believe it has value," she said.
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