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AP

Google is working on building a Snapchat rival, the The Wall Street Journal reports. Sources say Google is in discussions with several media companies, including Vox Media, CNN, Mic, the Washington Post and Time Inc. about a product called "Stamp" which could be announced as early as next week.

Why it matters: In the race to win the attention economy, tech giants are looking to optimize ways they can deliver content, and especially news content, to audiences in a mobile-first format. Facebook's mobile-first news platform, Instant Articles, is facing backlash from some publishers while Snapchat's mobile-first content platform, Discover, continues to launch more partnerships.

The product is meant to be a fast-loading platform with swipe-based mobile cards (like Snapchat stories) for news content. The name "Stamp" is Stories and Google AMP (its speed-focused mobile news platform) combined. The news comes on the heels of a Business Insider report Thursday that Google wanted to buy Snapchat for $30 billion last year.

Our take: The timing is right for Google to enter the field, but we have three outstanding questions that will determine how Google can compete with its rivals to land publisher deals, attract consumers and sell ads.

1) What will the revenue model look like for publishers?

2) How will they integrate Google search? (Facebook and Snapchat lack search functions in their Instant Articles and Discover Functions.)

3) Who will they let be a part of the program? Will it be open to everyone or a select group of vetted publishers?

A Google spokesperson confirms to Axios that they're working on an open-source project within AMP, but declined to offer more details.

"The success of the open source AMP project is down to the constant collaboration with publishers that involves working early on upcoming features. We don't have anything to announce at the moment but look forward to sharing more soon." - Google spokesperson

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats' billionaires tax explained

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

There is now legislative language behind the push to tax American billionaires on unrealized capital gains, as Sen. Ron Wyden last night released his 107-page plan.

Why it matters: This would be a sea change in U.S. tax policy, which has only applied to realized gains (otherwise known as income).

2 hours ago - World

Scoop: Blinken protests Israel settlements approval in "tense" phone call

Benny Gantz (L) and Tony Blinken. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/Pool/AFP via Getty

Secretary of State Tony Blinken protested the decision to approve 3,000 new housing units in Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank during a tense phone call on Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz, three Israeli officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is the first time new construction in the settlements has been approved since President Biden assumed office, and the Biden administration had been privately pressing the Israeli government not to proceed.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.