Google says it will shut search engine in Australia if forced to pay for news

SYDNEY: Alphabet Incs Google said Friday it would block its search engine in Australia if the government proceeds with a new code that would force them and Facebook Inc to pay media companies for the right to use their content. Googles threat escalates A Battle With Publishers The news giant had warned that if its 19 million Australian users were to enforce the new code, they would face degraded search and YouTube experiences.

Australia is on track to pass laws that tech giants would negotiate Make payments to local publishers and broadcasters for content found in search results or news feeds. If they cant reach an agreement, a government-appointed arbitrator will decide the price. “Coupled with the unmanageable financial and operational risk of this version of the Code, if we were to become law, we would have no choice but to google – Make search unavailable in Australia, Mel Silva ctor for Australia and New Zealand told a Senate committee.

Silva did not mention YouTube in prepared remarks. Googles comments were sharply rebuked by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who said the country was doing its Rules for Things to Do in Australia. People who want to work with it in Australia are very welcome. But we dont respond to threats, Morrison told reporters. Google has called the code too broad and stated that without revisions it would be too risky to offer even a limited search tool. The company does not post sales from Australia, but search ads are the top contributor to sales and profits worldwide.

The United States Government This week called on Australia to scrap proposed laws, which have widespread political support, and suggested that Australia instead should pursue a voluntary code. Australia announced the legislation last month after an investigation found that Google and social media giant Facebook had too much market power in the media, a situation that allegedly posed a potential threat to a well-functioning democracy Googles threat to curtail its services in Australia came just hours after the internet giant signed a three-year contract with some French news publishers to pay for content. $ 1.3 billion for helping publishers. Googles statement is part of a pattern of threatening behavior that is terrifying to anyone who values ​​our democracy, said Peter Lewis, director of the Australia Institutes Center for Responsible Technology.

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