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Microsoft takes a dig at Google over threat to discontinue search engine in Australia

The company has threatenedto stop making its popular search engine available in Australia if a proposed law by the Australian government is brought into effect.

twitter-logoAnkita Chakravarti | February 4, 2021 | Updated 17:15 IST

Highlights

  • Microsoft has taken a jibe at Google over its threat to leave Australia.
  • Google and Australian authorities seem to be at loggerheads over a law.
  • Throwing a shade at Google, Microsoft has said that it will never threaten to leave Australia. 

Microsoft has taken a jibe at Google over its threat to leave Australia. Google and Australian authorities seem to be at loggerheads over a law. The company has threatened to stop making its popular search engine available in Australia if a proposed law by the Australian government is brought into effect. Throwing a shade at Google, Microsoft has said that it will never threaten to leave Australia.

Microsoft President Brad Smith said in a blog that the company has spoken with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher about the "Government's proposed way of addressing the current bargaining power imbalance between digital platforms and Australian news businesses.

"One thing is clear: while other tech companies may sometimes threaten to leave Australia, Microsoft will never make such a threat. We appreciate what Australia has long meant for Microsoft's growth as a company, and we are committed to supporting the country's national security and economic success," he said in the blog.

Google had treated to leave Australia if the government passes the media bill that forces tech giants including Facebook and Google to pay media companies for using their content. Google's Australia managing director Mel Silva had told a senate that the proposed media law is "unworkable" and if it comes into action, Google is prepared to leave the Australian market. "If this version of the code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia," Silva had said. The bill If comes into action would require companies like Google and Facebook to pay local media outlets to link their content in search results.

However, now Prime Scott Morrison has said that he has had a "constructive" meeting with Google supremo Sundari Pichai regarding the potential law. "I thought it was a constructive meeting," Morrison told the press. "I have been able to send them the best possible signals that should give them a great encouragement to engage with the process and conclude the arrangements we'd like to see them conclude with the various news media organizations in Australia," he said. "At the end of the day, they understand that Australia sets the rules for how these things operate. And I was very clear about how I saw this playing out."

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