Google threatens to stop their search engine from Australia
On Friday, Google threatened to pull its search engine over a proposed media code from Australia that would require the tech giant to pay for news content.
Mel Silva, Google’s Australian operations managing director, told a Senate inquiry that the code was unworkable and that the company could not quantify the financial risk, AAP reported.
Leaving the Australian market is the “only rational choice if this law were to pass,” she said.
In December, the news media negotiation code bill was introduced in Australia’s parliament.
According to AAP, if passed, it would require tech firms to pay news outlets for their content or face penalties of up to 10 million Australian dollars (US $7.7 million).
Initially, the code will apply to Facebook NewsFeed and to Google Search.
On Friday, Googgle also released a video and letter in a campaign against the news code addressing Australian users.
For showing links to their content, Silva compared paying news outlets to suggest coffee shops to a friend and then being paid for mentioning them by the coffee shops.
“When you put a price on linking to certain information, you break the way that search engines work and you no longer have a free and open web,” Silva said.
The company wants to pay publishers through its Gogle News Showcase programme rather than for links.
Nearly 200 publications have signed deals with the programme, Google said.