Google threatens to remove search engine in Australia due to media code

Google on Friday threatened to disable its search engine in Australia if the government proceeds with a media code that would force tech giants pay for news content share.

Facebook has also opposes the rules and has threatened to remove news stories from its site in Australia. Simon Milner, a Facebook vice president, said the sheer volume of deals it would have to strike would be unworkable.

This was disclosed by Mel Silva, Google Australia and New Zealand VP told Australia’s Senate Economics Legislation Committee. when she appeared before the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, which is reviewing the proposed new regulation, the News Media Bargaining Code, at a public hearing.

The mandatory code of conduct proposed by the government aims to make Google and Facebook pay Australian media companies fairly for using news content they siphon from news sites.

With the unmanageable financial and operational risk if this version of the Code were to become law it would give GOOGLE no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia”

Google is willing to pay a wide and diverse group of news publishers for the value they added, but not under the rules as proposed, which included payments for links and snippets.

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Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia would not respond to the threats as news media companies fired back at suggestions their content did not add value to the platforms.

Like in many other countries, Google dominates internet searches in Australia. Silva told senators about 95% of searches in the nation are done through Google.

Asked by one senator how much tax it pays, Silva said last year it paid about 59 million Australian dollars ($46 million) on revenues of AU$4.8 billion ($3.7 billion).

This was disclosed when she appeared before the Senate Economics Legislation Committee, which is reviewing the proposed new regulation, the News Media Bargaining Code, at a public hearing.

 

 

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