Google has threatened to take search out of Australia if it is forced to pay news publishers for content

Google has threatened to pull its search engine out of Australia, a country with more than 20 million internet users, if the government implements a law that would require technology platforms to pay news publishers to post news in public places. search results.

“If this version of [media] The code had to become law, it would give us no choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia, ”Melanie Silva, Google vice president for Australia and New Zealand, told Friday. Senate Committee on National Economic Legislation, in the Sydney Morning Herald. reported.

The statement was followed shortly after Facebook, which appeared with Google during the Senate hearing, asked the country for a six-month grace period to allow it to enter into agreements directly with news organizations before being subject to the code.

Google and Facebook would negotiate code with the Australian government since December 2019. The country has long sought to be the first to force the two tech platforms, which absorb most of the world’s digital ad revenue, to pay to display content from news publishers who have been directly affected as a result. This decision could have ripple effects around the world, including the United States.

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

“Just like you don’t pay to include 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 forcing the phone book to pay businesses to be able to include them – it just doesn’t make sense.”

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

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