Google again took a stance against a code of conduct proposal in Australia that would force platforms to pay to display news from third parties. In a hearing on Friday (22), the company threatened to disable its search engine in the country if the text, discussed in recent months, was approved.
At the hearing, Google’s general manager in Australia, Mel Silva, considered the proposal to charge for content appearing in search results as “unrealistic”. “If this version becomes law, we will have no real choice but to stop offering Google Search in Australia,” said the CEO.
Australia’s proposal aims to compensate news firms for the revenue their content generates for services like Google’s search engine. The company owns 94% of online searches in the country, defending a Google News Showcase model in which partner vehicles are paid to highlight their content. However, this initiative is not yet available in Australia.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison commented on Google’s statement. “We do not respond to threats,” he said. “Australia sets our rules for what you can do in Australia. This is done in our parliament. It is done by our government. And here’s how things work in Australia ”.
Facebook, another company that would be affected if the proposal passes, said at the hearing that it can make changes to its platform. According to the company, users in the country may be blocked from sharing news.
Google stops displaying news in other countries
Despite claiming that there is no other alternative than disabling search, Google has found ways to circumvent similar laws in other countries. In France, the company agreed to pay for news display after the country implemented the standards in the law reform bill approved by the European Union.
The threat of deleting all Google searches in Australia is also quite different from what the company adopted in 2014, when Spain passed a law requiring platforms to pay for press content. . At that time, instead of disabling the service, the company decided to turn off Google News in the country.
With information: Bloomberg.