That a difference of opinion over the legality of Google News brought Google and AP to the table isn't simply speculation. The AP's own article about the deal alluded to a conflict in its first line: "Google Inc. is paying The Associated Press for stories and photographs, settling a dispute with a major provider of the copyright news that the online search engine finds and displays on its popular Web site." That article also indicated that Google would deliver the AP-based offerings "in the coming months."
In its report about the deal, The Wall Street Journal wrote that: "People familiar with the discussions said that the two sides disagree over whether Google News infringes on media outlets' copyrights but wanted to avoid a legal dispute."
Although the AFP case was settled in April through a licensing agreement, Google News continues to be challenged in and out of court.
For example, Copiepresse, the publishing group representing Le Soir, Le Libre Belgique, and other Belgian newspapers, sued Google for copyright infringement, arguing that it profits unfairly by posting snippets of its members' news stories on Google's Web sites, including Google News, without paying for their use.