Tech giant Google said the search engine across the country could cease to function if Australia legisted plans to pay for news content.
The Australian government is drafting legislation last year forcing technology companies to pay local publishers for content that appears on Search and News. If the new law is passed, Google said it would have to pull Search out of Australia.
Will Google Search be withdrawn from Australia?
Australia’s proposed “News Media Bargaining Code” will allow Google to pay local publishers between $US465 million and $US775 million a year when Google Search results include links to news sites and reusable source code.
At a public hearing today, Mel Silva, Google General Manager for Australia and New Zealand, told senators that the search engine would not be able to work in the country under the proposed conditions.
Silva said: “Combined with unmanaged financial and operational risk, if this version of the Code becomes law, it will leave us with no real choice but to stop rolling out Google Search in Australia.”
Google’s threat to limit its services in Australia came just hours after the internet giant reached a content payment agreement with some French news publishers as part of a three-year, $1.3 billion initiative to support publishers.