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Microsoft wades into Facebook news fight by siding with European publishers

February 22, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 54%. 2 min read.

BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 27: Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, speaks with Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG, (not pictured) at a "fireside chat" to the media about a joint project between the two companies called the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud on February 27, 2019 in Berlin, Germany. Microsoft is working with several automakers to advance the carmakers' digitalization. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Microsoft is joining forces with publishers in Europe to call for an Australia-style system that would force tech platforms such as Google and Facebook to pay news organizations for content.

London (CNN Business)Microsoft is joining forces with publishers in Europe to call for an Australia-style system that would force tech platforms such as Google and Facebook to pay news organizations for content.

The company said Monday that it would team up with media industry groups like the European Publishers Council to lobby for such a policy, which lawmakers around the world are now considering.

The move comes after Facebook (FB) stopped people from finding news on its platform in Australia last week rather than pay publishers for their content, a decision that produced a global backlash and generated negative headlines for the social media company.

"We welcome Microsoft's recognition of the value that our content brings to the core businesses of search engines and social networks," Christian Van Thillo, the European Publishers Council's chairman, said in a statement.

Australia's government is pushing legislation that would allow certain media outlets to bargain with tech companies so they could be paid for distribution of the news they produce.

The company has said it would back similar measures in other countries, including in the European Union, where policymakers are debating new laws that would rein in the power of Big Tech companies.

New copyright laws in Europe require search engines and social media platforms to share revenue with publishers if their content is displayed.

Some French publishers have signed up with Google, but without an arbitration mechanism, they fear the press "might not have the economic strength to negotiate fair and balanced agreements with these gatekeeper tech companies, who might otherwise threaten to walk away from negotiations or exit markets entirely," according to Monday's press release.

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