06/28/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

What If Google Bought The Associated Press?

If The Associated Press' business model isn't broken now, it could be soon. The non-profit group -- a co-op news organization owned by 1,500 daily newspapers nationwide -- makes much of its money charging newspapers and broadcasters fees for the right to use AP content.

It's been a happy little arrangement for the last 162 years, but what happens when many of AP's member newspapers and broadcaster die off or dry up? AP could be left in a lurch. Close to 45 percent of AP's sales come from U.S. broadcasters and newspapers -- two industries in turmoil.

Of course newspapers are more reliant upon AP now than they ever were before -- especially since editorial budgets and staffs have been slashed -- but it's a bit like selling drugs to late-stage cancer patients.

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