Collaborate a company Microsoft is with European news outlets to push for a system to make big tech platforms pay for the news, raising the stakes in the Australian-led battle to get Google and Facebook to pay for journalism.
The software giant and four major EU news groups have unveiled a plan to work together on a solution to charge for the use of news content from tech platforms.
The new plan aims to force technology platforms to share revenue with European news outlets.
Last week, Facebook banned Australians from accessing and sharing news on its platform, in response to government proposals, but the surprise move sparked a public backlash and heightened debate over the strength of the social network.
Meanwhile, Google has taken a different path by striking deals with news organizations, after reversing its initial threat to shut down its search engine in Australia.
EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton has expressed support for Australia, in the latest sign that Facebook’s move has backfired.
“I think it’s very unfortunate that the platform takes such decisions to protest against any country’s laws, and the platforms have to adapt to the regulators, not the other way around,” Britton told EU lawmakers.
He added that what is happening in Australia highlights a situation that must change, with Breton leading the process of reforming EU digital regulations aimed at taming the power of major tech companies.
Microsoft joins two lobby groups, as well as two European newspaper and magazine publishers.
The company has expressed support for Australia’s plans, which can help increase Bing’s market share.
EU countries are working to adopt the revised copyright rules put in place by the EU executive by June.
These rules allow European news outlets By negotiating payments with digital platforms in exchange for their online content.
There are concerns about the imbalance in the bargaining power between the two sides, and the group called for adding new measures to the upcoming reform of digital regulations to address the problem.
The group said in a statement: European news outlets may not have the economic power to negotiate fair and balanced agreements with technology companies, which may threaten to turn away from negotiations or exit markets altogether.