Google is threatening to pull its search engine from Australia if a proposed law goes into effect. The proposed law would force Google to pay news publishers for their content.
If this version of the code were to become law it would give us no choice but to stop making Google search available in Australia. Google Australia and New Zealand VP Mel Silva spoke to Australia’s Senate economics legislation committee today.
‘we do not see a way… we could continue to offer a service in Australia,’ says the Sydney Morning Herald.’we have had to conclude after looking at the legislation in detail we do n’t see the way, with the financial and operational risks,’ she adds.
Company has been lobbying against Australia’s plan for months. Claims it would’set an untenable precedent for our business, and the digital economy’.
‘we do n’t respond to threats,’ says Australian prime minister Scott Morrison.’Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia,’ he says.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the creator of the World Wide Web, submitted his opinion that’the code risks breaching a fundamental principle of the web by requiring payment for linking between certain content online’. Vint Cerf, another founder of the Internet who helped design TCP/IP, shared similar thoughts with the committee.
Competition and consumer Commission (ACCC) drafted the law in August. It seemed to suggest that this should n’t affect Google’s search business.
Google would rather pay publishers specifically for its Google News products. It already announced a program to pay publishers in Australia, Germany and Brazil.
The ACCC believes the proposed law addresses a’significant bargaining power imbalance’ between Australian news media businesses and Google and Facebook.
Australia’s proposed news media bargaining code law is currently in draft and targets Facebook and Google. It follows a 2019 inquiry that found the tech giant taking a disproportionately large share of online advertising revenue. Since then, the news and media industry have been hit hard by the pandemic.
Both companies are calling the blockages a’worst case’. Google insisted it was n’t a threat, but it sounds like one.
You can read the full bill for yourself right here. Fair warning is a pretty dense read read. You can also read a full bill.
Internet pioneers Tim Berners-Lee and Vint Cerf are also concerned with parts of the proposed law, and provided a link to the bill itself.