President of Microsoft, Mr Brad Smith said that his company is committed to Australia along with its news publishers and that it completely supports the Australian News Media Bargaining Code. Presently not bound by this directive, Smith said that the code represents a fundamental code towards a fairer digital ecosystem and a level playing field. Microsoft Corp and its search engine platform Bing has been paraded by Australian PM Scott Morrison along with his army of ministers as the answer to the ‘Google-sized hole that’ll be vacated if Google pulls its Search from the country.

PM & other ministers on the media code

Morrison, at the National Press Club, said he is confident Aussies would have sufficient alternatives if the tech giant Google decides to move ahead with its threat, pointing towards a meeting he had with Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO. 

Paul Fletcher, Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, also rallied behind Bing, supporting that in the event of the search giant Google leaving, he expects to see investment from other search players in the Australian market. Microsoft Corp, in response to the same, said that it is committed to the country and its news publishers that are key and vital to the democracy of the country.

Josh Frydenberg, Australian Treasurer revealed that he talked directly with Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO with regard to the Media Bargaining Code that’s making its way to law. Frydenberg said that Zuckerberg did not convince him to back down. 

Minister Paul Fletcher and Frydenberg had a meeting with the CEO of social media giant Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg who reached out to speak about the code and its impact on the social media platform, Facebook. Frydenberg said that Facebook takes it very seriously and it was a very constructive discussion.

SEE ALSO: The ACCC to launch inquiry into the ad tech service; focus will be on Google

More from Brad Smith

Smith said that his company Microsoft has always supported the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s efforts to successfully analyse the concerns brought on by the digital era. 

The media code “reasonably attempts” to address the ongoing bargaining power imbalance between the Australian news businesses and digital platforms. Smith says that Microsoft also recognises the importance of search, not only in the lives of consumers but to the hundreds of thousands of Aussie small businesses which rely on the power of search and advertising techn to support their organisations. 

While Microsoft, currently, is not subject to the news media code, the tech company would be willing to swear by these rules, if the government designates Microsoft, said Smith. Microsoft will ensure that Aussie small businesses who want to transfer their advertising needs to Bing could do so with ease, that too with no transfer costs. 

Microsoft will further invest in ensuring that Bing is comparable to its competitors. Smith wants to remind people that Bing can help, with every search, as it gets better at finding what users are looking for. 

SEE ALSO: Should Google and Facebook pay for news in Australia? The ACCC’s media code says, YES

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