Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Microsoft's Partnership With European News Publishers Threatens Facebook and Alphabet

By Keith Noonan - Updated Feb 22, 2021 at 3:15PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The alliance could spell trouble for some of Microsoft's top tech rivals.

Microsoft (MSFT -0.23%) announced on Monday that it's teaming up with Europe's four largest media-lobbying groups to help rework how news stories are shared and monetized on the continent. The move follows Australia's introduction of a system that requires large tech companies to pay money to news sites that feature media on their platforms.

The recently formed coalition will push for similar stipulations to be included in the European Union's upcoming legislation to put tighter regulations on Big Tech. If Microsoft and its allies are successful, and similar standards are implemented in the EU, this reworking would pose significant challenges for Alphabet and Facebook

Global telecommunications network represented by red lines.

Image source: Getty Images.

Facebook responded to Australia's new system by blocking users in the region from posting news stories on its namesake social media platform. However, the move has drawn criticism, and implementing this solution on a wider scale could create significant problems for the social media leader. It may be forced to adapt and agree to pay news outlets if more regions introduce systems similar to what's being done in Australia. 

Alphabet's Google division already has financial partnerships with hundreds of news outlets across Europe, but it looks like costs could soon rise for the tech giant. New copyright laws have already raised the specter that Google could be forced to pay publishers for text snippets featured at the top of search results on the platform.

While Microsoft has its own search engine in Bing, the search service is a small part of the company's overall business and has a small fraction of Google's market share. The Redmond-based software giant appears eager to promote the new standards because they could strengthen its overall position in tech by weakening its rivals. 

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Microsoft Corporation Stock Quote
Microsoft Corporation
$252.56 (-0.23%) $0.58
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$2,178.16 (-1.34%) $-29.52
Meta Platforms, Inc. Stock Quote
Meta Platforms, Inc.
$193.54 (1.18%) $2.25
Alphabet Inc. Stock Quote
Alphabet Inc.
$2,186.26 (-1.29%) $-28.65

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning service.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 05/22/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.