Australia could be left without the Google search engine because of News Media Bargaining Code where authorities want technology companies to pay a fair amount to publishers.
The bill has caused discontent from Google and Facebook, who refuse to pay news publishers. Google declared that if this code is passed into law, the Google search engine will no longer be available in Australia.
Google’s this situation opens the door to its competitors. One of them is Microsoft , who announced that it is on the side of the Australian authorities, a move that would position Bing.
Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, posted a blog post stating that the company is committed to Australia and news publishers. According to Smith, public interest media and journalism face multiple challenges, including constantly changing business models.
Microsoft says it is “fully compliant” with the News Media Bargaining Code. Australia announced this initiative after learning that Google and Facebook get customers thanks to news readers.
“The code reasonably attempts to address the imbalance in negotiating power between digital platforms and Australian news companies. It also recognizes the important role that search plays, not only for consumers, but also for the thousands of small Australian businesses that depend on of search and advertising technology to fund and support their organizations.”
Although the bill has not been passed, Microsoft says it is willing to comply with the rules imposed by Australia. “We believe that the current legislative proposal represents a fundamental step towards a more equitable playing field and a fairer digital ecosystem for consumers, businesses and society,” said Brad Smith.
The Redmond giant criticized the position of Facebook and Google regarding the subject, mentioning that, while “other technology companies” threaten to leave Australia, Microsoft never will. The company mentioned that it will invest more to ensure that Bing is comparable to its competitors.
According to Reuters, Google has 94% of the search engine market in Australia, a share that Bing could use to position itself better.