Google threatens to block Australian searches

Google threatens to block Australian users from using its search service if the government does not change a bill that would force IT giants Facebook and Google to pay for content they post from local media companies.

– If this version of the law goes through, it gives us no choice but to stop making Google searches available in Australia, says the company’s local manager Melanie Silva, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison, whose Conservative government has presented the bill following demands from the country’s largest news organizations, responds to the threat:

– Australia creates the rules for what you can do in Australia. It is done in our Parliament. Those who want to work in Australia are very welcome to do so, but we do not respond to threats, he tells the newspaper.

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The bill means that Google and Facebook will be forced to replace local media companies, or be punished with hefty fines. It is one of the world’s most aggressive actions against the two American IT giants.

– This is a giant reform, the world’s first of its kind, and the world is now looking at what is happening in Australia, Minister of Finance Josh Frydenberg has said earlier.

Frydenberg presented the proposal at the end of last year and the parliament in Canberra is expected to vote on the law in mid-February at the earliest.


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