SunstarTV Bureau: Google threatens that it will disable its search function in Australia if the government proceeds with a media code that would force it and Facebook Inc to pay local media companies for sharing their content, on Friday.
Mel Silva, managing director for Australia and New Zealand, said, “The code’s arbitration model with bias criteria presents unmanageable financial and operational risk for Google”.
She added, “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.”
The United States government this week asked Australia to scrap the proposed laws, which have broad political support, and suggested Australia should pursue a voluntary code instead.
Google’s threat to limit its services in Australia came just hours after the internet giant reached a content-payment deal with some French news publishers.
Google’s testimony is part of a pattern of threatening behavior that is chilling for anyone who values our democracy, said Peter Lewis, director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology.