Here's Why Google Is Seriously Threatening To Disable Its Search Engine In Australia

google down under
If you are doing a search in the outback, it may become significantly more difficult soon if Google keeps its threats. Recently, the Mountain View-based search engine company has been butting heads with the Australian government, which introduced rules that could force content aggregators, like Google, to pay for compiled news articles. At a recent Australian Senate committee hearing, Google stated that if the proposed code becomes law, it will shut off search in Australia. Crikey!

Earlier today, the search giant’s local managing director and VP of Australia and New Zealand, Melanie Silva, delivered the shut-off threat to the senate committee. She went on to explain that “It’s not a threat. It’s a reality,” and if enacted, the law “would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia.” According to the Sydney Morning Herald, these threats similarly echo what Facebook said in September, which included removing news articles from its platform.
google search
Seemingly, politicians are not taking the threats seriously, or if they are, they do not care. Prime Minister Scott Morrison specifically said that Australia would not respond to the threats, stating, “People who want to work with [the laws], in Australia, you’re very welcome. But we don’t respond to threats.”

Overall, anyone can understand the proposed code from both sides. Many would argue that giving news outlets a platform and wider audience by aggregating each outlet’s links is not something that should be paid for. Moreover, it could set a payment-precedent for other platforms, such as Reddit, Y-Combinator, and others, if it were to go through. This could cause further issues for these smaller platforms that rely on user interaction and aggregation. On the other hand, Google could be serving ads on these sites and ultimately making money by serving certain websites over another. Furthermore, the company uses news outlets to drive clicks through the platform, which could also be a revenue generator.

Either way you look at the legislation, Google and other news aggregation sites are in a standoff with the Aussie-government that could end in several ways. We will have to see what the Australian senate does in the coming weeks, so keep an eye on HotHardware for updates on legislation run asunder down under.