Now details are starting to emerge on the proposal, which appears headed to market by the end of the year.
The Italian newspaper, La Republicca, delved into the idea today. Google so far is simply saying it doesn't comment on prospective products, but its comments to paidContent.UK didn't dampen the report's contents, either.
Essentially Newspass will permit publishers to create a payment system, either through micropayments or direct credit-card purchases, through its Checkout system.
Google's CEO Eric Schmidt has repeatedly expressed concern about the news business' economic model in the digital sphere. While Google drives traffic to sites, and also benefits from search of those sites with its adjacent advertising, it sees a higher purpose in technological support of the news business --- the content is essential to Google's well-being.