Australian Prime Minister (Scott Morrison) said Monday: a company Software giant Microsoft is confident its search product, Bing, could fill the gap if Google fulfills its threat to remove its search engine from Australia.
“Google will likely make its search engine unavailable in Australia if the government goes ahead with its plans to get tech giants to pay for news content,” a Google executive told a hearing in the Australian Senate last month.
Australia has introduced laws that would compel search giant Google and social media giant Facebook to negotiate payments to local media whose content links direct traffic to the platforms.
However, the big tech companies called the laws unenforceable, and last month said they may withdraw key services from Australia if the regulations go ahead.
These services include the Google search engine, which owns 94 percent of the country’s search market, while Bing, the second most popular search engine in Australia, has only 3.7 percent of the country’s search market. This is according to industry data.
The software giant said Agency Reuters: The CEO of Microsoft (Satya Nadella) has since spoken with Morrison about the new rules, and Morrison said Monday: The software company is ready to expand the presence of its search tool Bing.
“I can tell you that Microsoft is totally confident when I spoke to Nadella,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra, without giving further details of the conversation.
Morrison added: We just want the rules in the digital world to be the same as in the real world, in the physical world.
A Microsoft spokeswoman confirmed that the discussion took place but declined to comment because the company was not directly involved in the laws.
We recognize the importance of a vibrant media sector and public interest journalism in a democracy, and we recognize the challenges the media sector has faced over many years by changing business models and consumer preferences.
The day before, Australian Treasury Minister Josh Frydenberg said: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asked for a meeting on the law, and they spoke, but he will not back down on the change.