Updated: Feb 26
In a shocking turn of events, recent days have seen the possibility of tech giant Google removing its services from Australia.
This news has come following the “world first” legislation passed in December that would put the “news media bargaining code.” This would force large tech companies such as Facebook and Google to pay for local news outlets to make use of their services, which is planned to be signed into law soon.
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the company has threatened to completely pull out of the country, making up 95% of web searches.
The law would regulate the amount of money that tech companies would pay their news outlet patrons. Google says it’s willing to continue doing business in Australia if they allow for case-by-case negotiation of payment instead of standardized costs.
This comes after their limited release of Google News Showcase in the country. Google’s terms have been criticized by Nine Entertainment, a major media company in Australia, with a spokesperson saying, “This is what monopolies do, they put an offer, in the form of Google Showcase, but not offer to negotiate.
It has to be all on their terms, and that is not an approach we will participate in.” Facebook has also threatened to limit its social media platforms’ capability in the country regarding posting links to Australian news sites.
For years Australia’s government has been attempting to regulate payment between tech giants and home-grown news outlets. However, this has been contested with claims that news outlets are compensated through the tech companies’ traffic.