Well, the suggestion is real. Microsoft is going to pay news companies to take their content off Google's search engine.
The aim would be to give Microsoft's upstart Bing search engine some bragging rights, in essence to build a bit of an engine war not unlike the browser wars of old --- except in this case, content would only be available with it.
Among the organizations in discussion with Microsoft: News Corp. which is looking at taking its content off Google. The terms and conditions of Bing's exclusive pacts are not yet clear.