Google threatens to exit Australia over news content law disputes

Yordan, 22 January 2021

Google has announced it is considering pulling out its search engine from Australia, following a law dispute with the country's government. The projected law says that Google has to share royalties with news outlets since Australian users find articles through the search engine.

Australia might say goodbye to news in Google Search Australia might say goodbye to news in Google Search
Australia might say goodbye to news in Google Search

According to Google Australia managing director Mel Silva, the laws are “unworkable,” and the company will be pushed to stop making Google Search available in the country. Lawmakers accused Google of “blackmail,” and senators went even further, saying if Australia manages to pull this off, “this is going to go worldwide.”

The government has argued that since people use Google (and Facebook) to read the news, tech platforms should pay a “fair” price for the journalism. One of every eight searches on Google Australia is news-related (that’s 12.5%), and the Australian print market has seen a 75% decline in advertising revenue in the past 15 years.

Also, 81% of all money spent on digital advertising in the news industry goes to Google and Facebook, BBC reported. “Number of outlets” in Australia have been forced to close, while Google generated $4 billion income from Australia while paying just $45 million (slightly over 1.1%) in tax.

Google might exit Australia after law disputes over news content

Google has already confirmed it has done some A/B testing with 1% of its Australian users. The experiment blocked Australian news sites from the search engine, but the results have not been announced. The US company has also cited its Google News platform as evidence it supports journalism.

BBC quoted Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, who said Australia’s plan would make the web “unworkable around the world” just a day after Google agreed to actually pay French news outlets for snippets of news stories according to the local copyright laws.



Reader comments

  • Anonymous

If any of you think this is a good thing you are as stupid as the Australian government and that is a very very very low bar. Bunch of dumb ass bogans that think they know how things should work yet they are only trying to line their own pockets with...

  • AussieBloke

Let them make their empty threats. They wouldnt dare do this in China or anywhere else, why should we bow to pressure? People should just use or . Googles not going anywhere, but it helps everyone if we have a diverse range...

But it makes it the only one that almost everyone uses. Kind of a monopoly like if Intel was before AMD took over.

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