Google said on Friday “it would ban its search engine in Australia” if the government authority continues with a code that would force it and Facebook to pay media organizations for the right to use their content.
Google’s threats are increasing the battle with publishers such as “News Corp” which is closely monitored all around the world. The search giant had alarmed that its 19 million Australian users would face a drop in search and YouTube experiments if the new code is implemented.
Australia will soon pass laws to force the tech giants to discuss payments with local publishers and content broadcasters included in search results or news feeds. If they cannot reach an agreement, a government-appointed arbitrator will do so
determine the price.
“Coupled with the unmanageable financial and operational risk 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,” Mel Silva, managing director for Australia and New Zealand, said to a senate committee.
Mel Silva didn’t mention of YouTube in prepared remarks, as the video service is hope for to be released during the last month’s code revision.
Google’s comments have been sharply criticized by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison who said The country makes its own standards for “things to do in Australia”.
“People who wish to work with that in Australia are welcome. But we don’t respond to threats,” Morrison said to reporters.
The US government this week asked Australia to withdraw a bill that has broad political support, and recommends that Australia follow a voluntary code instead.
Australia declared the law a month ago after a review found that Google and social media giant Facebook had an excess of market power in the media industry. The present circumstance is a possible threat to a well-working democracy.
Google’s threat to restrict its services in Australia came hours after the internet giant signed a three-year contract with several French news publishers to pay for content
$1.3-billion to support publishers.
Google’s testimony “is part of a threatening behavior model that is terrifying to anyone who values our democracy, “told Peter Lewis, director of the Center for
Responsible Technology at the Australian Institute.