UPDATED: Google Public Policy countered the New York Times' report in a tweet. "@NYTimes is wrong," Google Public Policy wrote. "We've not had any convos with VZN about paying for carriage of our traffic. We remain committed to an open internet."

Companies and the press have offered contradictory accounts of the negotiations between Google and Verizon. Get a full rundown of who has said what here.

WASHINGTON -- Google Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. are close to finalizing a proposal for so-called "network neutrality" rules, which would dictate how broadband providers treat Internet traffic flowing over their lines, according to a person briefed on the negotiations.

A deal could be announced within days, said the person, who did not want to be identified because negotiations are still ongoing.

The exact terms of the deal are unclear. According to the New York Times, the agreement between Google and Verizon "could allow Verizon to speed some online content to Internet users more quickly if the content's creators are willing to pay for the privilege." Under this deal, "charges could be paid by companies, like YouTube, owned by Google, for example, to Verizon, one of the nation's leading Internet service providers, to ensure that its content received priority as it made its way to consumers," the New York Times explains, noting that Internet users might eventually pay a higher price for service as a result.