Many older folk would remember that Microsoft itself was once accused of abusing its dominant market power to promote its Internet Explorer browser. Of course, the argument now is, Facebook and Google are so big and powerful that the little guys can’t hope to negotiate fair payment from them without a formal legal mechanism.
Facebook may have inadvertently encouraged that perception by dramatically cutting an entire country (Australia) off from news content, causing politicians and officials around the world to be outraged and alarmed by the action. According to the Associated Press, a top European Union official voiced support for Australia and told lawmakers, “It’s up to the platforms to adapt to regulators, not the other way around.”
Facebook has since reversed that block. But will we be seeing trouble for the social media company in Europe next?
Regardless, Microsoft’s stance in this dispute is hardly surprising for obvious reasons. Two weeks ago, Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote a lengthy post detailing the company’s support for the Australian law and a healthy press. Of course, he also took the opportunity to bash Google quite a bit.