Bing there, done that: Microsoft could step in if Google exits Australia over content licensing row, PM Morrison says | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Bing there, done that: Microsoft could step in if Google exits Australia over content licensing row, PM Morrison says

Microsoft is ready to bolster its presence in Australia if Google follows through with a threat to pull its search engine from the country, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said.
Australia is mulling legislation that would require Google and Facebook to pay domestic media outlets for using their content on their platforms, a move that the two tech giants strenuously oppose. Google has claimed that the licensing fees would make their services financially unviable, warning last month that the company would stop offering its popular search engine in Australia if the law goes through.

Rather than backing down, Canberra has reached out to Google’s competitor, Microsoft. The company’s search engine, Bing, is the second-most popular search tool in Australia after Google, although it currently holds only 3.7 percent of the market share. Morrison said on Monday that he has been speaking with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who told the prime minister that his company was ready to ratchet up its presence in Australia should Google exit the market.

“I can tell you, Microsoft’s pretty confident, when I spoke to Satya,” Morrison said, without divulging details about their conversations. He added that Australia’s aim with the proposed content licensing legislation was to “set the rules that are right for our people,” arguing that the same regulations that exist in the “physical world” should also apply to the “digital world.”

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