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Google threatens to shut down search in Australia

The threat comes after Australian lawmakers proposed a law to make tech giants pay for news content to local media.

Google has threatened to disable its search engine from Australia as the country attempted to introduce a law that would make tech companies pay for news content.

Google might disable search in Australia

Australia has lately been introducing a new law that would make Google, Facebook and other companies pay for news content. The world-first law requires tech giants to negotiate with local media in order to use content. The law was reportedly proposed to help local media industry that have been accusing the platforms to benefit from the news content they made without paying for it. According to the government, print media in Australia saw a 75% decline in advertising revenue, while only 12,5% of Google searches in Australia are for news.

Facebook might remove news from feed

As Google threatens to disable the search engine in Australia, Facebook said it would remove news from its feed in Australia if the law will be approved and the tech giants will be forced to pay for news. As 19 million Australians use Google every month and 17 million use Facebook, this move would be tough for millions of users who would not be able to access news through those platforms anymore.

Mel Silva, Google Australia managing director, said the law would be “unworkable”. “If this version of the code were to become law” – she said- “it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia.” Australian PM Scott Morrison said lawmakers do not accept ‘threats’ and they would be progressing the law. “Let me be clear: Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia. That’s done in our parliament.”


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