Microsoft is working to help EU publishers get paid for their news, similar to an Australian law that would enforce the same thing.
The Australian government began a showdown with Google and Facebook with proposed legislation that would force tech companies to pay for the news they quote and link to. Google has traditionally been opposed to such measures, claiming news publishers benefit far more than it does from its use of their news. Similarly, Facebook has also bitterly opposed the new legislation. While Google ultimately began working out paid deals, Facebook escalated the showdown by blocking Australians from posting or linking to news.
In the meantime, Microsoft has set itself apart by being willing to cooperate with Australia from the outset. The company even worked with the government to assure legislators it could pick up any additional search volume, should Google be unwilling to play ball.
The Redmond company is now taking things a step further, working with EU publishers to ensure tech companies pay for the news they use, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Microsoft is working with lobbying groups, such as the European Publishers Council and News Media Europe, in addition to groups representing magazine and newspaper publishers. While the EU has been working on ways to help publishers better negotiate with tech companies, it’s hardly a level playing field, with the tech companies holding the upper hand.
Microsoft joining forces with publishers provides a considerable boost to their negotiating position, while also setting Microsoft up to benefit should Google or Facebook be unwilling to come to an agreement.