with CLIPREVIEWED learn the articleMicrosoft Jabs Google, Backs Australian Proposal to Pay Media Outlets for Story Links
Microsoft says it supports a proposed law in Australia that would force major internet platforms to pay media outlets for linking to their news articles.
The proposed law—which Google and Facebook vocally oppose—could spark other countries to adopt the same regulation. But Microsoft President Brad Smith says his company supports the proposed “News Media Bargaining Code,” since local news publishers in Australia are vital to supporting the country’s democracy.
“While Microsoft is not subject to the legislation currently pending, we’d be willing to live by these rules if the government designates us,” Smith added.
Microsoft’s Bing search engine also operates in Australia. But it only has a 3.6% share of the market, according to StatCounter. Google dominates with a 94% share.
However, the fate of Google’s search engine in Australia may be in limbo. Last month, the company threatened to disable its search service in the region, citing the proposed law, which would require Google to negotiate compensation deals with news publishers for linking to their content.
“No website and no search engine pays to connect people to other websites, yet the Code would force Google to include and pay for links to news websites in the search results you see,” the company said in December. “This sets the groundwork to unravel the key principles of the open internet people use every day.”
If Google does bail, then it opens the door for Bing and other internet search engines to fill the void. In his statement on Wednesday, Smith noted Microsoft is ready to help Australian advertisers transfer their business over to Bing without any additional costs.
“One thing is clear: while other tech companies may sometimes threaten to leave Australia, Microsoft will never make such a threat,” he said, in a dig toward Google.
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