Google Threatens to Shut Down Search Engine In Australia

Issue 55

01.25.21 - Australia has recently been debating a new bill designed to benefit many media corporations and other content providers by requiring companies like Google to provide payments to media corporations for simply providing links to news results in Search. Google has stated that it will shut down its entire search engine in Australia if the controversial bill becomes law.

This past weekend, Google Australia Managing Director Mel Silva said the bill "remains unworkable", but in its current state would be providing a roadblock in the way users search for content online.

"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," Silva stated at a hearing in the Australian Senate. "That would be a bad outcome not just for us, but for the Australian people, media diversity and small businesses who use Google Search."

Large tech platforms have had a long feud with publishers and content creators for years over how their content is displayed on their platforms. Many media companies have suggested and argued that these tech giants should be required to make a payment for the usage of their links. Social media and other tech platforms have dominated over the years in terms of where advertising dollars are spent, leaving many media companies to fight over the leftovers.

"The free service we offer Australian users, and our business model, has been built on the ability to link freely between websites," she said.

Source: BBC