Google is threatening to make its search engine unavailable in Australia if the government proceeds with plans to make tech giants cover news articles
Google on Friday threatened to make its own search engine inaccessible in Australia when the government went ahead with plans to earn tech giants pay for news content.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison quickly hit back, saying”we don’t respond to risks.”
“Australia creates our principles for things you can perform in Australia,” Morrison told reporters in Brisbane. “That’s performed in our Parliament. It’s carried out by our authorities.
Morrison’s remarks came following Mel Silva, the managing director of Google Australia and New Zealand, told a Senate inquiry into the invoice that the new rules could be unworkable.
“If this version of the code were to become law, it would give us no real alternative but to stop making Google search available in Australia,” Silva told senators. “And that would be a bad outcome not only for us, but also for the Australian people, media diversity, and the tiny companies who use our products daily.”
The code of conduct proposed by the government aims to make Google and Facebook cover Australian media companies rather for utilizing news content they siphon from news sites.
Silva said it was ready to cover a broad and varied group of news publishers for the value they included, but not under the rules as proposed, which included payments for hyperlinks and snippets.
She stated the code”biased arbitration model” also posed unmanageable fiscal and operational risks for Google. She proposed a series of tweaks to the invoice.
“We believe there is a viable path ahead,” Silva said.
Like in many other nations, Google dominates net hunts in Australia. Silva advised senators about 95% of searches in the nation are done via Google.
Asked by one senator how much tax it pays, Silva said last year it paid approximately 59 million Australian dollars ($46 million) on revenues of AU$4.8 billion ($3.7 billion).
Facebook also opposes the principles and has threatened to remove news stories from the site in Australia. Simon Milner, a Facebook vice president, said the sheer quantity of deals that it would need to strike would be unworkable.
The Australia Institute, an independent think tank, said lawmakers must stand firm against Google’s bullying.
“Google’s testimony today is part of a pattern of threatening behavior that is chilling for anyone who values our democracy,” said Peter Lewis, the director of the institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology.