After proposing last week to replace Google with its own services in case the Mountain View giant pulls out of Australia, Microsoft tried to rally North America and Europe yesterday, Thursday, to its proposal to remunerate the media for their content. A proposal which is precisely based on the model of the Australian bill that Google and Facebook refuse.
Hundreds of millions a year
This law, perceived as a “Binding code of conduct” by the two tech giants, would govern the relations between traditional media in great financial difficulty and the giants which dominate the Internet and capture a significant share of advertising revenue. Obviously, both Facebook and Google did not take a positive view of this project and threatened to suspend their services if the Australian project was implemented in its current form.
The code of conduct devised by the Australian government requires Google and Facebook to negotiate with each media a remuneration for the recovery of their content. If there is no agreement, an arbitrator would decide. Australia’s biggest news groups, News Corp and Nine Entertainment, have estimated the compensation will amount to hundreds of millions of dollars a year.
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Google and Facebook, backed by the US government, said the project would undermine their business model and the very functioning of the Internet. “The United States should not oppose a creative Australian proposal that strengthens democracy by requiring tech companies to support the free press. They should rather copy it ”, commented Brad Smith.
“People have asked us if Microsoft would support similar proposals in the United States, Canada, the European Union and other countries. The short answer is yes ”Microsoft chairman Brad Smith said in a statement Thursday. The idea of remunerating the press according to the traffic that the titles generate on search engines “Has been explored in some European countries, but with limited success”, he notes.
“The reason is that it is difficult to negotiate with a monopoly company. You got a whale or two on one side of the table of nations and dozens and hundreds of little fish on the other side. This results in long and costly negotiations which leave the small fry hungry “.
Microsoft’s search engine Bing only accounts for 5% of the market share in Australia. It reaches 15% -20% on PC and mobile searches in the United States, according to Brad Smith, and 10% -15% in Canada and the United Kingdom. “But if we have a realistic prospect of gaining market share, we are confident in our ability to build the service Australians need”, he insisted. If you can annoy the competition and help your own business …