Sunday 25th February 2024

Google Threratens to withdraw search engine from Australia

Published on : 22 January, 2021 11:16 am

Kathmandu : Google has threatened to remove its search engine from Australia over the nation’s attempt to make the tech giant share royalties with news publishers.

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

But the US tech giants have fought back, arguing the laws are onerous and would damage local access to services.

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

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

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

“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 said.

Mr Morrison said his government remained committed to progressing the laws through parliament this year. At present they have broad political support.

“Let me be clear: Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia. That’s done in our parliament,” he told reporters on Friday.

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

Other lawmakers on Friday described Google’s ultimatum as “blackmail” and “big corporations bullying democracy”.

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