Google has publicly stated on several occasions that they are not interested in keeping users on their site — they want people to find information and leave Google as quickly as possible — but their latest move is a sign that Google is taking a second look at that strategy.
Instead of sending people to any site hosting content from Press Association, Associated Press, Canadian Press and Agence France-Presse, Google has decided to license articles and host them directly. The pages hosting the articles are plain — you get the article you want, and basically nothing else (not even ads).
This move has been in the making for several years — and frankly, it is hard to understand why it took so long. Google has the infrastructure to store these articles, and it gives them all kinds of flexibility they never had before. For example, they could add features such as live chat or comments on these hosted article pages if they wanted.
There is the possibility that other sites that host this same content will be slightly ticked off now that traffic coming from Google will completely disappear — potentially causing quite a bit of lost ad revenue. It will be interesting to see how Google handles the backlash when it happens.