Google threatens to shut down search in Australia
Published: 06:37 PM, 22 January 2021 Updated: 10:40 PM, 22 January 2021
Google has threatened to shut down its search engine in Australia if the government proceeds with a plan to force Big Tech groups to pay news providers for their content, CNN reported.
According to a BBC report, Australia is going to legislate to pay royalties to news publishers to Facebook, Google and other technology companies. But these tech giants in the United States think the law is troublesome as it will disrupt service delivery at the local level.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said lawmakers will not bow to Google's threat. Under the proposed law, Google and Facebook would have to sit down with publishers to discuss the value of news content.
Google (GOOGL) Australia Managing Director Mel Silva said a Senate hearing in Canberra on Friday that the draft legislation "remains unworkable," and would be "breaking" the way millions of users searched for content online.
"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," she told lawmakers. "That would be a bad outcome not just for us, but for the Australian people, media diversity and small businesses who use Google Search."
The company's main concern with the proposal is that it "would require payments simply for links and snippets just to news results in Search," according to Silva.
"The free service we offer Australian users, and our business model, has been built on the ability to link freely between websites," she said.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison hit back at Google later on Friday.
"Let me be clear. Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia. That's done in our parliament. It's done by our government and that's how things work here in Australia and people who want to work with that in Australia, you're very welcome," he said at a press conference. "But we don't respond to threats."