Unlike Facebook and Google, Microsoft has been very keen on Australia’s idea to force Big Tech to pay for news. So much so that the company has decided to publicly advocate for the US and other countries to think about similar laws.
Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters that he had spoken to Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella about the plans to introduce the news media bargaining code.
It’s a much ballyhooed law that would force tech companies to negotiate with Australian news publishers in an effort to make the companies to pay for the value they received from news.
According to Morrison, Nadella was “pretty confident” that Australians wouldn’t be worse off — and even said that the company was willing to sign up for the code, even though they weren’t one of the two companies initially included in the law.
Today, the company took this newfound passion for paying for news a step further.
US publication Axios reported that Microsoft President Brad Smith said the U.S. and other countries should consider introducing similar laws.
“I would be the first to acknowledge that we recognize that this is an opportunity to combine good business with a good cause,” he said.
Microsoft’s decision to back the code is more than a ‘student asking the teacher for more homework’ moment. It’s an opportunity for them to expand their market share dramatic as Facebook and Google threaten to pull products like Search from the Australian markets in retaliation to the code.
Google’s departure would be a gift for Microsoft’s Bing search, which currently handles less than 5% of Australian search market share,
It also sures up the position of the Australian Government, which would be less tenable (although still possible) if Microsoft joined in threatening to boycott Australia.
For Microsoft, Google and Facebook’s loss is its potential gain.