Google may soon be forced out of Australia. Meanwhile, its distant competitor, Microsoft, is waiting in the wings to take over — but both companies are still hiring down under.

In a bid to reduce Google’s monopoly on internet search and give additional income to media outlets, the Australian government has introduced a new code that would require Google to pay certain news sites for listing their content on its search engine. Google, which has 94% of market share in Australian internet search, isn’t thrilled about the code. The company has threatened to exit the country entirely if the law is passed, echoing Facebook’s threat to exit last September.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, however, has high hopes for his company’s rival search engine, Bing. Nadella recently spoke with Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister, about the opportunity. According to Morrison, Nadella was “pretty confident” about the expansion. And as our data indicates, Microsoft may be planning to expand.

According to our data, Microsoft currently has 11 job openings in Australia compared to 114 total job listings. Microsoft’s Australia job listings aren’t as numerous as they were pre-pandemic, but have ticked up since November, suggesting that the company may be gearing up for expansion in the region. Microsoft’s job listings, in cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Canberra, include roles like data center technician and EHS site/campus manager.

Microsoft isn’t the only one hiring. Google has more job listings in Australia as well, suggesting they may not be ready to bow out of the country just yet. Our data shows that Google currently has 46 total listings in Sydney and Melbourne, a 91% increase since last quarter. 36 of those listings are in Sydney, where Google’s Australian headquarters are. Its Melbourne office, which has 10 listings, opened in 2018.

Google’s stalemate with Australia isn’t new — in late 2014, a similar battle took place in Spain. As the Spanish government passed a law that required Google to pay for a license to list news articles, the tech giant pulled Google News from the country altogether.

If Australia keeps its promise, Google could exit the country entirely, leaving Bing and other competitors, like private search engine DuckDuckGo, to divvy up the gargantuan market share.

About the Data:

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online, jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings, and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.

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