HT TECH wants to start sending you push notifications. Click allow to subscribe

Microsoft backs Australian plan to make Google pay for news

The Australia Institute's Center 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.

By: PTI
Updated on: Aug 21 2022, 14:47 IST
Morrison this week confirmed he had spoken to Nadella about Bing replacing Google in Australia. (AP)
Morrison this week confirmed he had spoken to Nadella about Bing replacing Google in Australia. (AP)

Microsoft said on Wednesday it supports Australia's plans to make the biggest digital platforms pay for news and would help small businesses transfer their advertising to Bing if Google quits the country.

Microsoft has been positioning itself to increase market share for its search engine Bing after a Google executive told a Senate hearing last month that it would likely make its search engine unavailable in Australia if the government goes ahead with a draft law that would make tech giants pay for news content.

You may be interested in

Mobiles Tablets Laptops
7% OFF
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • Black Titanium
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Storage
₹148,900₹159,900
Buy now
28% OFF
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra 5G
  • Green
  • 12 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Storage
₹107,999₹149,999
Buy now
Google Pixel 8 Pro
  • Obsidian
  • 12 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
₹106,998
Check details
Apple iPhone 15 Plus
  • Black
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
₹87,900
Check details
27% OFF
Microsoft Surface Studio A1Y 00022
  • Platinum Silver
  • 16 GB LPDDR4X RAM
  • 512 GB SSD
₹179,990₹245,900
Buy now
7% OFF
Microsoft Surface Pro 8 8PV 00029
  • Graphite Black
  • 16 GB DDR4 RAM
  • 256 GB SSD
₹139,999₹149,999
Buy now
47% OFF
Microsoft Surface 4 5UI 00049
  • Platinum Silver
  • 8 GB DDR4 RAM
  • 256 GB SSD
₹98,000₹186,500
Buy now
28% OFF
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 M1866 VDH 00013
  • Platinum
  • 4 GB LPDDR4X RAM
  • 128 GB SSD
₹74,000₹102,990
Buy now
34% OFF
Xiaomi Pad 6
  • Mist Blue
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
₹26,299₹39,999
Buy now
55% OFF
Lenovo Tab M10 5G
  • Abyss Blue
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
₹20,999₹47,000
Buy now
32% OFF
Realme Pad 2
  • Imagination Grey
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
₹19,749₹28,999
Buy now
Honor Pad X9
  • Gray
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
₹14,999
Check details

Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a statement that he and Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella had told Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher in an online meeting last week that “Microsoft fully supports” the so-called News Media Bargaining Code.

Morrison this week confirmed he had spoken to Nadella about Bing replacing Google in Australia.

“I can tell you, Microsoft's pretty confident” that Australians would not be worse off, Morrison said on Monday.

Smith said he had assured the government leaders that small businesses who wished to transfer their advertising from Google to Bing could do so simply and without transfer costs.

“We believe that the current legislative proposal represents a fundamental step towards a more level playing field and a fairer digital ecosystem for consumers, business and society,” Smith said.

The Australia Institute's Center 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 center's Director Peter Lewis said in a statement.

Although Bing is Australia's second most popular search engine, it has only a 3.6% market share, according to web analytics service Statcounter. Google says it has 95%.

Swinburne University senior lecturer on media Belinda Barnet said Bing and other search engines could fill the void left by Google and deliver benefits.

“People need to realize it will not be personalised in the sense that Google advertising in searches is, so Bing doesn't know and frankly doesn't care that you're in the market for yoga pants, for example,” Barnet said.

“Some of these platforms, Google and Facebook in particular, feed you more misinformation if you're already prone to clicking on misnformation, so they create this echo chamber, in a sense,” she said.

“But a product like DuckDuckGo and Ecosia is not going to know that in the past you've looked at 100 articles about how vaccines are bad and they will just give you the most accurate information that they can find.”

Peter Strong, chief executive of the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia, an advocacy group, expected the disruption to small businesses created by Google's departure from Australia would be short-lived.

ALSO READ: Microsoft Surface Go 2 review: Not your regular tablet

“We're not panicking,” Strong said. “But it would have a short-term impact.”

“It would be a bad thing if Google quits, but if Bing took over, the situation would be the same,” he added. “One organisation has the capacity to blackmail a country and that should never happen," he said, calling for more government regulation.

A Senate committee that is scrutinising the draft legislation will report to the government next week.

The mandatory code proposed by the government aims to make Google and Facebook pay Australian media companies fairly for using news content the tech giants siphon from news sites.

There are no plans to make smaller search engines such as Bing pay for linking users to Australian news, but the government has not ruled that option out.

Google has faced pressure from authorities elsewhere to pay for news. Last month, it signed a deal with a group of French publishers paving the way for the company to make digital copyright payments. Under the agreement, Google will negotiate individual licensing deals with newspapers, with payments based on factors such as the amount published daily and monthly internet site traffic.

But Google is resisting the Australian plan because it would have less control over how much it would have to pay. Under the Australian system, if an online platform and a news business can't agree on a price for news, an arbitration panel will make a binding decision on payment. 

Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on ,Twitter, Facebook, , and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 03 Feb, 20:26 IST

Sale

Mobiles Tablets Laptops
11% OFF
Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra
  • Titanium Black
  • 12 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Storage
₹119,999₹134,999
Buy now
34% OFF
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra 5G
  • Green
  • 12 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Storage
₹98,999₹149,999
Buy now
7% OFF
Apple iPhone 15 Pro Max
  • Black Titanium
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 256 GB Storage
₹148,900₹159,900
Buy now
8% OFF
Apple iPhone 15 Plus
  • Black
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
₹82,999₹89,900
Buy now
33% OFF
Xiaomi Pad 6
  • Mist Blue
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
₹26,999₹39,999
Buy now
32% OFF
Realme Pad 2
  • Imagination Grey
  • 6 GB RAM
  • 128 GB Storage
₹19,798₹28,999
Buy now
47% OFF
Lenovo Tab M9
  • Frost Blue
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 32 GB Storage
₹8,499₹16,000
Buy now
57% OFF
Honor Pad X8
  • Blue Hour
  • 3 GB RAM
  • 32 GB Storage
₹8,999₹20,999
Buy now
18% OFF
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 Plus TFM 00013 Laptop
  • Platinum
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 128 GB SSD
₹96,990₹117,990
Buy now
18% OFF
Microsoft Surface Book 2 1769 LQL 00023 Laptop
  • Space Grey
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 128 GB SSD
₹96,990₹117,990
Buy now
20% OFF
Microsoft Surface Pro 6 LGP 00001 Laptop
  • Space Grey
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 128 GB SSD
₹84,790₹105,999
Buy now
3% OFF
Microsoft Surface Book 2 HNL 00022 Laptop
  • Silver
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 512 GB SSD
₹172,990₹178,999
Buy now
NEXT ARTICLE BEGINS