Google threatens to withdraw search engine from Australia

22 Janvier, 2021, 10:21 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Google search page shown on smartphone

First, rather than payment for links and snippets, the Code could designate News Showcase, and allow Google to reach commercial agreements to pay Australian news publishers for value in addition to the valuable traffic we already provide through Search.

Originally due to be finalised by November 2020, the code, introduced by competition watchdog Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), was to require the digital ad giants to negotiate in good faith on how to pay news media for use of their content, to advise news media in advance of algorithm changes that would affect content rankings, to favour original source news content in search page results and to share data with media companies.

But the United States tech giants have fought back, arguing the laws are onerous and would damage local access to services.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, whose conservative government has heeded demands by the country's biggest news organisations to crack down on the United States tech firms, responded sharply to the threat. At present they have broad political support.

"Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia", he said. He added "People who want to work with that, in Australia, you're very welcome. But we don't respond to threats".

The Australia Institute, an independent think tank, said lawmakers should stand firm against Google's bullying.

Why is Australia pushing this law?

The government has argued that because the tech giants gain customers from people who want to read the news, the tech giants should pay newsrooms a "fair" amount for their journalism.

"That's done in our parliament, it's done by our government and that's how things work here in Australia". Many Australian news outlets have shut down or cut jobs in recent times.

Google's threat to remove its primary product is its most severe yet, in a debate being closely watched globally amid increasing debate about regulating the power of big tech.

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Earlier this week, USA trade representatives urged Australia to drop the laws which they said attempted regulation "to the clear detriment of two United States firms".

"This provision in the code would set an untenable precedent for our business and the digital economy", Silva said Friday.

She said the code's "biased arbitration model" also posed unmanageable financial and operational risks for Google.

Executives from the social media giant have fronted a Senate committee examining a bill underpinning the proposed legislation.

He said Facebook derived nearly no commercial benefit from having news content on its platform.

This is a highly unusual threat.

An Australian review that led to the proposed changes found that for every US$100 spent on online advertising, Google captures US$53 while Facebook takes US$28 and the rest is shared out among others.

For Google to threaten to pull out of an entire country suggests the company is anxious.

And they proposed a series of amendments to the draft Australian law to avoid a showdown.

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