Microsoft shows its full support to Australia where the government announced the ambitious plans to make Google pay for news. Additionally, Australia would help small businesses transfer their advertising to Bing if Google quits the country, Irish Examiner has learned.
Microsoft has been positioning itself to increase market share for its search engine Bing after a Google executive told a Senate hearing last month it would likely make its search engine unavailable in Australia if the government implements a draft law compelling tech giants pay for news content.
Microsoft President Brad Smith and CEO Satya Nadella have met online with Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison. During their meeting, the big techs confirmed that “Microsoft fully supports” the so-called News Media Bargaining Code.
PM Morrison assured that “I can tell you, Microsoft’s pretty confident”.
In addition, the Australian Cabinet understands why so many small businesses wished to transfer their advertising from Google to Bing. They have the right to do so simply and without transfer costs.
The Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology, an independent think tank, welcomed Microsoft’s stance and called on Google to withdraw its threat to close its search services within Australia.
“This is a significant development and should send a message to both Google and Facebook that their network dominance in Australia is only as strong as their respect for Australians,” the centre’s Director Peter Lewis said in a statement.