After Microsoft rushed to the aid of Australia in support of a game-changing new law, we thought we had heard the last of it. However, it appears that Microsoft is just getting started and is pushing for the EU to do the same to further hinder Google and Facebook.
What’s Happening With Microsoft and Australia?
If you’re unsure of what Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Australia all have in common, we need to jump back a bit to see where all this started.
The feud began when the Australian government proposed a new law that targeted Facebook and Google specifically. The government said that it believed that both of the tech giants were using content from news outlets without paying.
Have you ever seen the little news snippets that Google or Facebook sometimes show its users to keep them up to date? These are lifted directly from news websites, and the Australian government claimed that this practice meant that people didn’t bother visiting the news website. This then staved news websites of revenue.
As such, the government put forward a new law that would mean Google and Facebook would have to pay the source website for every time they displayed a news snippet. Facebook responded by removing its Australian news coverage in light of the law.
Google, however, put up a fight. It argued that its snippets encouraged people to click on it to read more, thus driving more traffic to the news website. It also said that such a law would be too expensive to maintain in the long run.
As such, Google threatened to remove itself from Australia if the law passed. This was likely a scare tactic, as 95 percent of Australian web users use Google; however, it actually opened the door for its rival, Microsoft.
Microsoft’s Quest for Paid News in the EU
When Microsoft caught wind of this news, it flew in to save Australia from Google. Not only did it declare that its own search engine, Bing, was ready to fill the void that Google would leave, but it also fully supported Australia’s news laws. Granted, the news law wasn’t aimed at Microsoft at all; but if it were, the company stated it’d abide by them.
However, Microsoft isn’t stopping there. The company has likely realized that, wherever this law goes, it would bring with it the pressure on Google to scale down or leave. That’s good news for Bing, who struggles to keep up with the search engine giant’s popularity.
As such, US News reported on how Microsoft plans to encourage EU countries to adopt this new law too. The company has teamed up with the European Publishers Council and News Media Europe to make the following statement:
Publishers might not have the economic strength to negotiate fair and balanced agreements with these gatekeeper tech companies, who might otherwise threaten to walk away from negotiations or exit markets entirely.
As such, this may mark the beginning of an interesting time for Microsoft as it aims to drive back some of the biggest tech companies in the world.
Making the News Over News
When Google and Facebook threatened to withdraw from Australia, they likely hoped it would cause the lawmakers to backtrack. However, it appears that the competition is now keen to put the two tech giant’s feet to the fire and force them to either play by the rules or leave even more countries.
If you’re tempted to give Bing a second chance, did you know that the search engine will soon use AI to fix your typos and get the results you want?
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