Internet giant Google threatens to shut down its search engine in Australia. The reason is a proposal for a new code of conduct that would oblige Google to pay for links to news articles.
Google CEO Mel Silva said in the Australian Senate that the legislation is unworkable and that the company can’t calculate the financial risk. “Leaving the Australian market is the only rational decision if this code gets through,” said Silva.
The code was introduced in the Australian Parliament in December. According to Australian news agency AAP, Google would have to pay fines of up to AU $ 10 million (EUR 6.4 million) if it refuses to pay publishers for their articles. Initially, the legislation would apply to Facebook and Google Search news feed.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said of Google’s threat: “It is Australia that sets the rules for what is allowed in Australia, and it is our parliament that decides. Those willing to work in Australia within this framework are welcome. But we do not bow to threats.”
Silva compared publishers who pay to show links to their content with a friend recommending a coffee shop and then being billed by the coffee shop for using their name. According to the Google top woman, Australian law will lead to an end to the free and open internet.
On Thursday, it was announced that Google would pay in France for the use of messages from news editors and publishers.
On this subject, at the insistence of the French competition watchdog, it has reached an agreement with Alliance de la Presse d’Information Générale, one of the largest French publishing houses covering nearly 300 titles. Financial details have not been disclosed.