Following Google’s imminent exit from Australia, Microsoft’s is confident that its search engine, Bing, can fill the gap. Google has threatened to leave Australia after the government introduced new laws requiring companies such as Google and Facebook to pay for News
According to the Australian Lawmakers, the tech giants will be required to negotiate payments with domestic media outlets who they believe their links drive traffic to their platforms.
Google Australia’s managing director Mel Silva said that should the government’s proposal go ahead, “we would have no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia.”
The Big Tech firms have said that the laws are unworkable and Google threatened to withdraw their services from Australia if the regulations were not changed. These include Google’s Search engine which serves 94 percent of the country’s search market.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has spoken with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison about the new rules. Morrison has since said that Microsoft was ready to grow its search engine, Bing, in the country.
“We just want the rules in the digital world to be the same that exist in the real world, in the physical world,” Morrison added.
A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the discussion but did not divulge much details as 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 through changing business models and consumer preferences,” the spokeswoman said.
Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg also said that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had requested for a meeting over the law.