Google to Block Search Engine in Australia if Forced to Pay Media Companies

The parent company of search engine Google, Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL) has issued a threat that it will be blocking its search engine services in Australia if the government proceeds with a move to force Google and Facebook Inc. (FB) to pay media companies to secure the rights of using their content for news.

Google now says the 19 million Australian users of its platform are staring at a possibility of missing Google search engine services and having degraded YouTube services if the measures are enforced by relevant authorities in Australia.

Australia is currently on a process to pass laws which will force tech giants to engage and negotiate payments with local broadcasters and publishers for content included in news feeds or search results.

In a situation where the tech giants and the local broadcasters fail to reach an agreement, an arbitrator appointed by Australia’s government will decide the price.

While speaking to a senate committee, Google’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand Mel Silva said the company finds itself in a very tight position leaving it without any other option rather than to disable Google search services in Australia.

Coupled with the unmanageable financial and operational risk if this version of the Code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia,” said Silva.

The threat by Google didn’t sit well with the Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison in his words he said Australia makes rules for things you can do in the country.

People who want to work with that in Australia, you’re very welcome. But we don’t respond to threats,” added the Prime Minister.

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