Bing

Microsoft ‘pretty confident’ Bing can replace Google after tech giant threatens to leave Australia

Topline

Microsoft is confident its Bing search engine can replace Google in Australia if the company follows through on its threat to withdraw its services if the government doesn’t back down from plans to make tech giants pay for news content said Prime Minister Scott Morrison. said Monday amid Canberra’s continued efforts to limit the powers of big tech.

Highlights

“I can tell you that Microsoft is pretty confident,” Morrison reported Reuters Told journalists after a conversation with CEO Satya Nadella.

Google has threatened to deactivate its search function in Australia if the government does not back down from plans to charge tech giants to the media for their content, describing the offers “news media trading code” as “impractical” in its current form and an “unmanageable financial and operational risk” to Google’s Australian operations.

nadella would have contacted Morrison directly to discuss Microsoft’s interest in supplanting Google – although Microsoft’s Bing is the second most popular search engine in the country, its 3.6% market share is eclipse by Google 95%.

“At the moment they have a small market share in search, but they’re interested in expanding it, they’re interested in growing Bing‘s presence here,” Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said. Told ABC.

Microsoft has confirmed Forbes that Nadella had met with the Australian Prime Minister last week but declined to provide further details of the conversation.

“We recognize the importance of a vibrant media sector and public interest journalism in a democracy and recognize the challenges the media sector has faced for many years due to changing business models and consumer preferences,” Microsoft said.

Key context

Australia’s proposed news media trading code, designed to help a struggling local media industry that has accused major platforms of benefiting from its work without paying for it, was developed by the body The country’s competition watchdog, the ACCC, after talks between it and the technology broke down. businesses. If passed, Google and Facebook would be forced to negotiate and share the revenue they make from news content with publishers – a decision made by the two companies. critical. Facebook and Google, which are exclusively targeted, both claim that media outlets already benefit from the referrals and clicks to their websites that their platforms allow. The US government tried to to intervene on behalf of the tech giants, urging the Australian government to work towards a “voluntary code”, adding that the code unfairly targets two US companies to their “obvious harm”.

To monitor

It’s unclear whether the code will later apply to Microsoft if passed. The company declined to comment. A spokesperson said Forbes“With respect to the current controversy over a possible code of conduct governing Google and Facebook, Microsoft is not directly involved and we would not like to comment on this ongoing process involving the ACCC and these companies.”

Chief Spokesperson

Officials have taken a dim view of what they see as heavy-handed behavior by tech giants in response to the bill. “Let’s be clear: Australia sets our rules for the things you can do in Australia,” Morrison said. said last week after Google threatened to pull out.

Further reading

Google threatens to shut down search engine in Australia if forced to pay publishers for news (Forbes)

Australian PM says Bing could replace Google (AP)

As Google Considers Australia Exit, Microsoft Talks Bing With PM (Reuters)