Google Warns To Shut Its Search Engine In Australia; Gets Flak From PM
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Global search giant, Google, on Friday warned that it would block its search engine in Australia if the government went ahead with its new code that would force tech giants to pay media companies to use their content.
As per a report by Reuters, Alphabet’s Google has said that if the government passes the “unworkable” code then its 19 million citizens will receive degraded search and YouTube experience.
Mel Silva, managing director of Google for Australia and New Zealand, on Friday told the senate committee that the company is already facing “unmanageable financial and operational risk” and that the new Code turns into law then Google will be left with no choice but to shut its search available in the continent.
Following the comment, Australian prime minister Scott Morisson responded sharply by saying that companies following the government laws are welcome to work in Australia. However, he said that the government doesn’t respond to threats.
Social media giant Facebook’s executive too rejected the code and said that the move would lead to “a potential worse case scenario”. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Simon Milner, vice-president for public policy Asia-Pacific, Facebook, said that if the code is turned into law then people using Facebook will not be able to see news on its platform.
Australian government is on the brink of passing a law that would force digital platforms to pay media companies for news content, and follows a 12-month review into Google and Facebook by the competition watchdog.
The government observed that few of the tech companies dominate the market with negligible competition which pose a threat to democracy.
The said law would also make Google and Facebook to enter mandatory arbitration with media companies if they cannot reach agreement over the value of their content within three months.
Interestingly, the government of the US has asked its Australian counterparts to scrap the proposed laws.