Google could leave Australia: what does this mean?

 Google has made a splash in Australia by threatening to withdraw its search engines. This is not unusual as google has carried out threats of this nature in the past. In 2014, a law in Spain was passed aiming to force Google to pay newspapers for headlines which led Google to remove its news product, to this day Spanish users cannot access google news. 

So why is this different to Spain?

This new Australian law would go one step further, requiring payments for any links to news even on the main search engine, the idea being that this will help any news publishers that have been affected by online advertising. 

What have the reactions been?

 This latest development in a defiant global attempt to regulate the way that big tech platforms use news content. Tim Berners Lee, inventor of the world wide web has said that these new media laws risk breaching a fundamental principle of the web by requiring payment for linking between certain content online, reports The Guardian. Similarly, Peter Lewis, director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Responsible Technology has called this development “chilling to anyone who cares about democracy” in his opinion piece for The Guardian.

If Google did exit Australia – would it matter?  

According to The Sunday Morning Herald, Mr Sims – The chair of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has stated that a google exit would potentially provide a gateway for other players and make it simpler for news organisations to broker deals. Due to Google’s dominance of the market creating a “take it or leave” bargaining attitude for publishers.

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