Microsoft is working with European publishers to promote the establishment of a news system that allows large technology platforms to pay, thereby raising the stakes in the brewing battle for the Australian-led, which has prompted Google and Facebook to pay for journalism.
The Seattle technology giant and the four major EU news industry groups announced their plan on Monday. They will work together on a solution to use the news content of the online “gatekeeper with dominant market power” in the form of “authorized payment” .
They said they would “draw inspiration” from Australia’s proposed legislation to force technology platforms to share revenue with news companies, including an arbitration system to resolve disputes over fair prices for news.
Facebook responded to the government’s proposal last week to prevent Australians from accessing and sharing news on its platform, but this unexpected move triggered strong public opposition and intensified the debate about how powerful social networks are. At the same time, Google has taken a different approach by cutting payment transactions with news organizations after the company withdrew from the initial threat of shutting down search engines for Australians.
The European Union’s internal market commissioner Thierry Breton expressed support for Australia, which is the latest sign that Facebook’s move is counterproductive.
Breton told EU lawmakers: “I feel very sorry that a platform made such a decision to protest against a country’s laws. It depends on how the platform adapts to the regulator, not the other way around.” He added that what is happening In Australia “show the attitude that must be changed.” As people increasingly worry that their algorithms are eroding democracy, Breton is leading the EU’s comprehensive reform of digital regulations to tame the power of large technology companies.
Microsoft is working with two lobbying groups, the European Publishers Council and the European News Media, and two groups representing European newspaper and magazine publishers, which have thousands of books. The company has expressed support for the Australian plan, which may help increase its market share in the Bing search engine.
EU countries are working hard to adopt revised copyright rules set by EU executives by June, which allow news companies and publishers to negotiate payments for digital platforms for online use of their content.
However, people are worried about the imbalance in the bargaining power between the two parties, and the organization called for new measures to be added to the upcoming digital regulation reform to solve this problem.
The organization said in a joint statement that publishers “may not have the financial strength to negotiate fair and balanced agreements with these gatekeepers’ technology companies, otherwise they may threaten to withdraw from negotiations or withdraw from the market altogether.” Google and Facebook declined. Arbitration, because it will reduce their control over payment negotiations.
Facebook did not respond to a request for comment. Google said it has signed hundreds of partnerships with European news publishers, making it one of the largest funders of journalism, and noted on Twitter that as member states incorporate copyright rules into national legislation, it Working with publishers and policymakers in the European Union.
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