The long-standing case between the Australian government and Google is taking a new shape, which could dent the growth of each other eventually. As the Australian government is pushing the law to force Google and other tech firms to pay up the media for their news, Google is now threatening to pull out its Search off the country if it’s forced to do so.
Google May Disable Search in Australia
While the whole world is thinking that ranking in Google results is benefitting them, the Australian government thinks the other way around. Australian senates have long been arguing that articles from news outlets are driving up value to the search engines and since they need to be paid by them.
The government has drafted and is almost on the edge of making it an enforceable law, which is countered by Google and Facebook majorly. While Google argues that the law would set “an untenable precedent for our businesses and the digital economy“ if it’s forced to pay the local media houses for listing their articles on their Search.
Melanie Silva, MD of Google Australia and New Zealand said “This was not compatible with the free-flowing share of information online or how the internet works“. The other possible victim, Facebook has more points to argue that, it has little to no value added to the platform by media houses.
This regulation is also put forward to help the local media houses intentionally, as they haven’t picked up well with the digital economy yet. Since 2005, the print media of Australia has seen a rapid decline, with huge financial losses and job cuts. Thus, to help them all, Australia is calling their services on Google highly beneficial, thus should be compensated.
For all these, Google’s Ms. Silva 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.” This was seen as blackmail by other lawmakers since threatening.
This made Australian PM Scott Morrison said, “Australia makes our 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.“