Microsoft Supports Australia’s Plan to make Google Pay for News
By: Ashwathy Nair
- This would help small businesses to transfer their advertising to Bing if Google quits the country.
- Google would likely make its search engine unavailable in Australia.
- The so-called News Media Bargaining Code is supported fully by Microsoft.
On Wednesday, Microsoft stated that it supports plans of Australia to make the biggest digital platforms pay for news and it would be helping small businesses transfer their advertising to Bing if Google quits the country.
After a Google executive told a Senate hearing last month that, it will likely be making its search engine inaccessible in Australia if the government goes ahead with a draught law that would be making tech giants pay for news material, Microsoft has been positioning itself to increase market share for its Bing search engine.
In a statement, the President of Microsoft – Brad Smith stated that in an online meeting last week, he along with the Chief Executive of Microsoft – Satya Nadella told Prime Minister – Scott Morrison and Communications Minister – Paul Fletcher that Microsoft fully supports the so-called News Media Bargaining Code.
This week, Morrison confirmed that he had spoken to Nadella regarding Bing replacing Google in Australia.
On Monday, Morrison stated that Microsoft is kind of pretty confident that Australia might not be worsening off.
Smith stated that he had assured the government representatives that small businesses who wished to transfer their advertising from Google to Bing could do so simply and without transfer costs.
It is believed that the current legislative proposal is a crucial move towards a more level playing field as well as a fairer digital economy for consumers, companies and society.
Although Bing is the second most popular search engine of Australia, as per the web analytics service Statcounter, it has a market share of only 3.6 per cent. Google states that it has 95 per cent.
Swinburne University senior lecturer on media Belinda Barnet stated that Bind along with other search engines could be filling the void left by Google and deliver benefits.
People need to remember that it is not going to be personalized in the way that Google search advertisement is because Bing doesn’t know and honestly it doesn’t care that you’re in the yoga pants business, for instance, Barnet said.
Some of these platforms like Google and Facebook in particular, if you are already prone to clicking on misinformation it feed you more misinformation, so in a sense, they create this echo chamber.
But a brand such as DuckDuckGo and Ecosia is not going to know that you’ve looked at 100 articles in the past about how terrible vaccinations are and they’re only going to give you the most reliable details they can find.
It would be really bad if Google quits, but in future, if Bing takes over, the situation would be the same.
The mandatory code that is proposed by the government focuses towards making Google and Facebook pay Australian media companies impartially for using news content the tech giants’ siphon from news sites.
Google has been facing pressure from authorities elsewhere to pay for news. It signed an agreement last month with a group of French publishers, paving the way for the company to make digital payments for copyright. Google can strike individual licencing agreements with newspapers under the arrangement, with fees dependent on factors such as the amount of regular and monthly internet site traffic reported.
But since it would have less say over how much it would have to pay, Google is opposing the Australian scheme. Under the Australian scheme, an arbitration tribunal can make a final judgement on payment if an internet website and a news company do not agree on a price for news.
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