Google's Warning Doesn't Sit Well With Australian PM Scott Morrison
Google threatened to disable its search engine in Australia if it's forced to pay local publishers for news, a dramatic escalation of a months-long standoff with the government.
The proposed law, intended to compensate publishers for the value their stories generate for the company, is "unworkable," Mel Silva, managing director for Australia and New Zealand, told a parliamentary hearing Friday. She specifically opposed the requirement that Google pay media companies for displaying snippets of articles in search results.
The threat is Google's most potent yet as the digital giant tries to stem a flow of regulatory action worldwide. At least 94% of online searches in Australia go through the Alphabet Inc. unit, according to the local competition regulator.
"We don't respond to threats," Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday. "Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia. That's done in our parliament. It's done by our government. And that's how things work here in Australia."