Google and Microsoft engineers might collaborate on the Chromium browser code, but that hasn’t stopped corporate politics between the pair.
Google has launched a scathing attack on Microsoft today, accusing it of trying “to break the way the open web works in an effort to undercut a rival.”
Google is upset about what it believes is an attack by Microsoft to undermine the company’s efforts to support journalism and publishers. In January, Google threatened to remove its search engine from Australia, in response to a law that would force Google to pay news publishers for their content.
Australia passed the law in February, just days after Google caved and cut a deal with News Corp. and other publishers that ensured its services continue to be available in Australia. (Facebook, on the other hand, did remove the ability for users and publishers to share news content in the country, which earned some concessions from the Australian government.)
In the middle of all of this, Microsoft was very public about its support of Australia’s new law, and it even teamed up with European publishers to call for online platforms to reach deals to pay news outlets for content. Google isn’t happy about Microsoft getting involved and this is the first big public spat we’ve seen since the Scroogled era.
“They are now making self-serving claims and are even willing to break the way the open web works in an effort to undercut a rival,” says Kent Walker, Google’s head of global affairs, in a blog post. “This latest attack marks a return to Microsoft’s longtime practices. Walker links to the Wikipedia entry for Fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD), and accuses Microsoft of muddying the waters to distract from recent security issues.
“It’s no coincidence that Microsoft’s newfound interest in attacking us comes on the heels of the SolarWinds attack and at a moment when they’ve allowed tens of thousands of their customers … to be actively hacked via major Microsoft vulnerabilities,” says Walker.
“Microsoft was warned about the vulnerabilities in their system, knew they were being exploited, and are now doing damage control while their customers scramble to pick up the pieces from what has been dubbed the Great Email Robbery. So maybe it’s not surprising to see them dusting off the old diversionary Scroogled playbook.”
This unusual attack from Google also comes just as the House Judiciary Committee looks at the antitrust and commercial aspects of competition for a free and diverse press.
Google argues it doesn’t make money from Google News, but Microsoft argues it’s a lot more complicated and involves Google Search ads, ad tech business, ad exchange, ad tech tools, and Google’s overall consumer dataset.
“News organizations have ad inventory to sell, but they can no longer sell directly to those who want to place ads,” says Microsoft president Brad Smith.
“Instead, for all practical purposes they must use Google’s tools, operate on Google’s ad exchanges, contribute data to Google’s operations, and pay Google money. All this impacts the ability of news organizations to benefit economically even from advertising on their own sites.”
Google and Microsoft are clearly at odds over the core argument of whether publishers should have more control over a digital ad industry dominated by the search giant and Facebook.
Microsoft wants Congress to move forward with the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act and “enable news organizations to negotiate collectively with online content distributors.”
Google, on the other hand, believes its Google News Initiative, where it tries to collaborate with the news industry, is enough to help news organizations. While Microsoft and Google battle in a war of words, the House Judiciary Committee is meeting today to hear less scathing arguments about the future of the press in a digital era.
- I was slapped, kicked in the groin by National Security officials – Citi FM’s Caleb Kudah recounts ordeal
- Citi FM journalist broke GJA code of ethics by filming at National Security premises – Affail Monney
- Over 90% of ‘rotten’ vehicles at National Security premises distributed – Former MASLOC boss
- I will resign from Parliament if anyone proves that I promised to fix any road – Sam George
- Banks cannot be blamed for not accepting new Voter ID cards – Association of Bankers
- Citi FM journalist, Caleb Kudah released from National Security custody
- Eight home-based players included in Ghana’s squad to face Morocco and Ivory Coast
- #FixTheCountry: Be measured in your expectations of Akufo-Addo due to Covid-19 – Chief of Staff
- Citi FM journalist committed no crime in filming at National Security premises – Samson Anyenini
- Mental disorder after childbirth is real – Mother shares experience
Social media users react to DSP Azugu’s alleged role in Citi FM journalist’s assault
Court adjourns Assin North MP’s case over hearing of applications
Pregnant woman, 2 others feared dead in Tamale-Buipe Highway accident
Ghana ranked 9th in SSA with highest value of energy infrastructure project – Report
UK funds cyber capacity building in Ghana
CSIR wants recognition for research works
Femi Kuti speaks after father, Fela, missed out on 2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction
The neglected woman with a neglected disease
GPL wrap – Medeama and Bechem United lose at home for the first time as Hearts close gap at top
Smith Rowe benefits from Jorginho error as Arsenal win at Chelsea
Atletico two wins from league title after victory over Sociedad
PSG win on penalties to reach French Cup final
GOC insists Herbert Mensah is still president of Ghana rugby
NSMQ2021: Wa SHS qualifies to national championship for the first time in 20 years
Citi FM journalist committed no crime in filming at National Security premises – Samson Anyenini