An Australia with no Google? The bitter fight behind a drastic threat.
By Damien Cave, The New York Times
SYDNEY — In a major escalation, Google threatened Friday to make its search engine unavailable in Australia if the government approved legislation that would force tech companies to pay for journalism shared on their platforms.
Facebook, which appeared with Google at an Australian Senate hearing, reaffirmed a threat of its own, vowing to block users in Australia from posting or sharing links to news if the bill passed. …
The companies argue that they already help the media industry by sending it traffic and that the bill would open them up to “unmanageable levels of financial and operational risk.” The response by Google, which controls 95% of all queries in Australia in addition to owning YouTube, has grown particularly aggressive: The company recently buried major Australian news sites in search results in what it called an “experiment.”