Google threatens to withdraw search engine from Australia

Google threatened to remove its search engine from Australia over the nation’s attempt to make the tech giant share royalties with news publishers.

Australia is introducing a landmark law to make Google, Facebook and potentially other tech companies pay media outlets for their news content.

But the US tech giants have fought back, arguing the laws are onerous and would damage local access to services.

The Australian Prime Minister said lawmakers would not yield to “threats.”

The proposed news code would tie Google and Facebook to mediated negotiations with publishers over the value of news content, if no agreement could be reached first.

Google Australia’s managing director told a Senate hearing that the laws were “unworkable.”

The prime minister said his government remained committed to progressing the laws through parliament this year. At present they have broad political support.

Lawmakers described Google’s ultimatum as “blackmail.”

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