Google has come out against the Australian authorities’ new bill, called the binding code of conduct, which will urge them to pay big tech companies for links to media posts, a proposal that targets entry to Google and Facebook given the clear dominant position and level of income that both companies occupy in the segments of search and social networks, respectively.
The most curious thing is that this proposal is that, if it becomes law, it also prohibits them from disassociating themselves from the media to avoid having to pay them. In fact, Google has been quite blunt, threatening to withdraw its search engine from Australia if the new proposal is finally approved, although it also proposes as an alternative that the media embrace the News Initiative, where payments to the media are contemplated, although the authorities have not yet spoken.
Along the way the idea of create a publicly owned search engine, which started from the environmentalist party The Australian Greens, although from the Australian executive they see with good eyes that it is Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, the one that replaces Google, where in fact they have held meetings with the company’s CEO, Satya Nadella, throughout the past week, obtaining a positive impression.
Microsoft eager to take Google’s place
And it is now when a new chapter of this soap opera arrives with the official offer of those from Redmond to fill the void that Google would leave after its departure. As collected now Reuters, Microsoft is in favor of the new bill, and even said in a statement on Wednesday that it would comply with it if necessary:
While Microsoft is not subject to the legislation currently pending, we would be willing to comply with these rules if the government appoints us.
It also goes further indicating that:
The code reasonably attempts to address the imbalance in bargaining power between digital platforms and Australian news outlets.
But at Microsoft they go further and will also offer help to small businesses to transfer advertising businesses to Bing at no cost to them, committing to invest efforts to make their advertising product more competitive.
To take into account the scale of the situation, it must be taken into account that Google has a 94% market share in searches in Australia, according to industry data. At the moment, Google has not wanted to offer any comment on the interest shown by its rival.
For Google, this bill is positioned against an open internet, sharing a vision with the father of the internet, Tim-Berners Lee, what do you see in measures like this they go against the original spirit of the web.
It is already a matter of waiting for the following movements to occur.