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TECH: Google To Shut Down Australia


Google says it will shut down its search engine in Australia if a controversial bill designed to benefit the news media becomes law.

At a Senate hearing in Canberra on Friday, Google (GOOGLE) Australia Managing Director Mel Silva said the draft legislation “remains unworkable,” and would be “breaking” the way millions of users searched for content online.

“If this version of the Code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia,” she told lawmakers. “That would be a bad outcome not just for us, but for the Australian people, media diversity and small businesses who use Google Search.”

The company’s main concern with the proposal is that it “would require payments simply for links and snippets just to news results in Search,” according to Silva.
“The free service we offer Australian users, and our business model, has been built on the ability to link freely between websites,” she said.


Google and Facebook have tussled with publishers for years over how they display their content, with media companies arguing the tech giants should pay them for the privilege. Critics of the two tech firms point out that since they dominate the online advertising business, it puts news publishers in a bind and leaves them scrambling for leftovers.


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