Google threatens to withdraw search engine from Australia

Google threatens to withdraw search engine from Australia
Google Search is the most dominating in the world. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Internet giant Google has threatened to remove its search engine from Australia over the country’s attempt to make the company share royalties with news publishers.

Australia is introducing a landmark law to make Facebook, Google and potentially other tech companies pay media outlets for their news content.

But big internet companies have fought back, arguing the laws are onerous and would damage local access to services.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said lawmakers would not yield to “threats”.

The proposed news code would tie Facebook and Google to mediated negotiations with publishers over the value of news content, if no agreement could be reached first.

Mel Silva, Google Australia managing director, told a Senate hearing on Friday that the laws were “unworkable”.

She said: “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.”

The Australian Prime Minister said his government remained committed to progressing the laws through parliament this year. At present they have broad political support.

Mr Morrison told reporters on Friday that Australia makes their rules for things you can do in Australia. That’s done in our parliament.”

“And people who want to work with that, you’re very welcome. But we don’t respond to threats,” the Prime Minister added.

On Friday, other lawmakers described the US tech giant’s ultimatum as “blackmail” and “big corporations bullying democracy”.

Google’s search engine is the dominant search engine in Australia and has been described by the government as a near-essential utility with little market competition.

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