Google threatens to pull search from Australia if forced to pay news publishers for content

Google has threatened to pull its search engine from Australia, a country with more than 20 million Internet users, if the government implements a law requiring technical platforms to pay news publishers for the display of stories in search results.

“It’s this version of the [media] The code should become law, it won’t give us any real choice, but to stop making Google Search available in Australia, ”Melanie Silva, Google’s vice president for Australia and New Zealand, told the Senate Legislative Committee on Friday. of the village, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The statement was followed shortly after by Facebook, which appeared with Google at the Senate hearing, he asked the country for a grace period of six months to be allowed to deal directly with the matter before it is submitted to the code.

Google and Facebook they negotiated the code with the Australian government since December 2019. The country has long sought to be the first to force the two technical platforms, which suck most of the world’s digital advertising revenue, to pay for content display by news editors who have been hit directly as a result. The move could have ripple effects around the world, including in the United States.

Hours before Silva’s remarks, Google agreement pay print publications in France for content display. But in Australia, the company argued that requiring platforms to pay for links would break a fundamental principle of the internet – the ability for sites to be able to link freely to each other.

“As you don’t pay to insert a hyperlink in an email, websites and search engines don’t pay to provide links to third-party websites,” Google wrote in a blog post. “It would be like requiring the phone book to pay companies to be able to include them – it just doesn’t make sense.”

In response to Silva’s statements, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison refused to back down. “We don’t respond to threats,” he said he told reporters in Brisbane. “Australia makes our rules for the things you can do in Australia. It’s done in our Parliament. It’s done by our government. And that’s how things work here in Australia.”

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