Australian Prime Minister says Bing could replace Google

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CANBERRA, Australia >> The Australian Prime Minister said on Monday that Microsoft was confident it could fill the void if Google followed through on its threat to pull its search engine out of Australia.

A Google executive told a Senate hearing last month that it would likely make its search engine unavailable in Australia if the government goes ahead with plans to charge tech giants for content. Of actuality.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he has since spoken to Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella about his Bing search engine filling the space.

“I can tell you that Microsoft is pretty confident” that Australians would not be worse off, Morrison told the National Press Club of Australia.

“These are big tech companies and what’s important to Australia, I think, is that we set the rules that work for our people,” Morrison said.

“To have an information environment in this country which is sustainable and commercially supported, then it is vital for the functioning of democracies,” he added.

Although Bing is Australia’s second most popular search engine, it only takes a 3.7% market share, the Australian newspaper reported. Google says it takes 95%.

Nadella initiated the Zoom conversation with Morrison last week, the newspaper reported.

A Microsoft spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The government’s proposed mandatory code of conduct aims to force Google and Facebook to fairly pay Australian media companies for using the news content that tech giants siphon off news sites.

Google has been pressured by authorities elsewhere to pay for the information. Last month, he signed a deal with a group of French publishers paving the way for the company to make digital copyright payments. Under the deal, Google will negotiate individual license agreements with newspapers, with payments based on factors such as daily published volume and monthly website traffic.

But Google is resisting the Australian plan because it would have less control over the amount it would have to pay. In the Australian system, if an online platform and a newspaper company cannot agree on a price for the news, an arbitration panel will make a binding decision on the payment.

Morrison said he would like to see “more alignment among the world’s economies” on these antitrust and competition policy issues.


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