Microsoft believes Bing can take over Google’s position as the number one search engine in Australia, if regulatory changes push the tech company out of the country. Google has threatened to pull its services from the Australian market if new laws force tech companies to negotiate with local media over the use of their content.
Major technology providers have called the new legislation unfair and unenforceable. Under the new law, media companies are encouraged to reach a commercial agreement with Facebook and Google, but if no agreement is reached, an arbitrator will determine what financial settlement must be paid by the technology companies in order to use the content produced by other media.
In addition, the new Australian law also stipulates that digital platforms must notify the media at least 14 days before the implementation of any algorithmic changes. Along with Google’s threat to leave the country, Facebook also suggested that Australians could be blocked from sharing information on its platform.
It seems, however, that at least one tech company isn’t mad at the new legislation. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed that, following conversations with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the company is confident that Bing can rise from second place to Australia’s most popular search engine.
There are fears that big tech companies are hurting local news producers by dominating the advertising landscape. The world will watch how Australia’s new laws play out, as similar measures may eventually be used in other markets.
If Bing were to become the number one player in Australia, it would represent a significant change for most online users. According to estimates, Google is currently responsible for handling 94% of search traffic in the country.
Going through Reuters