Peace breaks out between Murdoch and Google

On a visit to Britain, Eric Schmidt, chief executive of Google, confessed his company has had fireside chats with Rupert Murdoch in a bid to halt hostilities.

Murdoch recently branded Google a bunch of thieving gits who use their pesky search engine thingummy to nick the dross he serves us as news on a daily basis.

He's begun building paywalls around his online papers to keep the spiders out.

But Schmidt claims he had a good relationship with Murdoch, "outside of public posturing".

"We have talked to Rupert and quite a few others. I think we currently have peace. We have talked to News Corp and other companies for a months on these sorts of things," Schmidt told journalists at Google’s Zeitgeist conference in [cough!] Watford yesterday.

Schmidt has a cunning plan to get Murdoch to use its Checkout service to extract payments from the daft and deluded so that they can view News International's output.

"I would rather not talk about specific news on any deal," he said, "But we are a platform, not a competitor to newspapers. Today we have an advertising answer for them, but we would like to have other answers for them as well."

"Google will not get into the content business, [that's too much like hard work] but we can build tools for it," he winked.