Australia – Google threatens to take down search engine
Australia is on direction to pass laws that would make the Big Tech giants negotiate payments with local publishers and broadcasters for content. If they cannot strike a deal, a government-appointed mediator will decide the price.
Google on Friday threatened to pull its Search engine from Australia if a proposed media bargaining law, that directs Google to pay news publishers, goes into effect. Google’s Australia managing director Mel Silva even told a Senate hearing earlier that the recommended news media law will be “unworkable”, and the company is prepared to exit the Australian market. “If this version of the code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia,” said Silva.
The United States government this week asked Australia to discard the proposed laws, which have broad political support, and suggested Australia should pursue a voluntary code instead.
The Australian government itself has been very clear on how it plans to take things forward. Responding to Google’s statements, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government would not respond to threats.