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Microsoft allies with European publishers to push for 'Australian-style' laws on news content, pitting itself against Facebook and Google

Published by Business Insider on Tue, 23 Feb 2021


<p><img src="https://static5.businessinsider.com/image/5e62a3c5fee23d54d3379238-2400/microsoft-brad-smith.jpg" border="0" alt="microsoft brad smith" data-mce-source="REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson" data-mce-caption="Microsoft president Brad Smith."></p><p></p><bi-shortcode id="summary-shortcode" data-type="summary-shortcode" class="mceNonEditable" contenteditable="false">Summary List Placement</bi-shortcode><p>As Facebook and Google brace themselves to start paying news publishers in Australia, rival Microsoft is pressing its advantage internationally.</p><p>Microsoft announced Monday it had struck an alliance with four major European publishers' lobbying groups to push for an "Australian-style arbitration mechanism" that would force it to pay news publishers for hosting their content.</p><p>"Europe's press publishers and Microsoft today agreed to work together on a solution to ensure that Europe's press publishers get paid for the use of their content by gatekeepers that have dominant market power," Microsoft said in a <a href="https://blogs.microsoft.com/eupolicy/2021/02/22/europe-press-publishers-microsoft-call-for-australian-style-arbitration-mechanism-in-europe/">blog post</a>.</p><p>Specifically, Microsoft says it will be pushing for arbitration provisions in law, meaning lawmakers could decide what they think a digital giant, such as Google or Facebook, should be paying publishers.</p><p>Australia is getting ready to pass its new News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code, a law that would force digital media platforms to pay news publishers for hosting their content, and mandate that they give publishers forewarning about any changes to their algorithms.</p><p>In preparation for the law, Google struck deals with major publishers including <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/google-news-payments-deal-rupert-murdoch-wall-street-journal-australia-2021-2">Rupert Murdoch's News Corp</a>. Facebook reacted by <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-bans-australian-users-from-sharing-news-stories-2021-2">temporarily booting all news content</a> off its Australian site, a move which resulted in a <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/global-publishers-react-facebook-australia-news-ban-2021-2">significant drop in traffic to news sites</a>. Facebook <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-reverses-its-australian-news-ban-and-restores-news-pages-2021-2">reversed its decision on Monday</a> following amendments to the proposed law.</p><p>The EU has already shown some <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/eu-australia-google-facebook-technology-2021-2">appetite for adopting a similar law to Australia's</a>, and could potentially weave one into its recently proposed and wide-ranging <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/eu-rules-big-tech-dsa-dma-facebook-google-apple-2020-12'r=US&amp;IR=T">Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act</a>.</p><p>Microsoft operates Bing, a rival search engine to Google's, and has already been <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-brad-smith-facebook-australia-news-ban-2021-2">vocal in its support for the Australian law</a>.</p><p>"I'm hopeful that the Biden administration will support and embrace this kind of policy to redress the imbalance between something like a search service by Google and the position of the news publishers," Microsoft President Brad Smith told <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-president-brad-smith-talks-australia-news-ban-2021-2">Insider</a> last week.</p><p>Canada's government has also said it will introduce a bill to <a href="https://globalnews.ca/news/7621449/steven-guilbealt-tech-news-bill/">make tech companies pay publishers for news content</a>.</p><p><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/microsoft-news-facebook-australia-google-big-tech-publishers-eu-law-2021-2#comments">Join the conversation about this story &#187;</a></p> <p>NOW WATCH: <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/melissa-maker-clean-your-home-quickly-cleaning-expert-2017-4">A cleaning expert reveals her 3-step method for cleaning your entire home quickly</a></p>
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