Google threatens to launch a search engine in Australia

Google threatens to launch a search engine in Australia



Google has threatened to remove its search engine from Australia in a nationwide effort to make the news a tech giant share with publishers.


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


But American tech companies are fighting, arguing that the laws are too strict and will hurt local access to services.


On Friday, Google told the Senate that the laws were "unworkable."


Mel Silva, managing director of Google Australia, said: "If this version of the code were to become law, we would have no choice.


"We do not see the possibility of continuing to offer our services in Australia, despite the financial and operational risks."


Australian politicians are set to debate the law in parliament this year.


Google Search is the dominant search engine in Australia and the government has called it a near-utility with less market competition.


The government has argued that because tech companies get customers from people who want to read the news, tech giants should pay newsrooms "fair" money for their journalism.


In the midst of a growing debate over the power to regulate the power of big tech, the threat of Google's removal of its core product is by far the most intense in a global debate.


Ms. Silva said the rules would set an "unstable precedent for our businesses" and did not comply with the free flow of information online or "how the Internet works".


Last week, after reports surfaced in the local media, Google confirmed that it was blocking Australian news sites in the search results of about 1% of local users. He said it was an experiment to test the value of Australian news services.


Last year, Facebook also threatened to block Australian users from sharing news stories on the platform if the law went ahead.

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