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Google Threatens to Shut Down Search in Australia

Deja Tyla Hansen Deja Tyla Hansen
25th January 2021
Google Threatens to Shut Down Search in Australia
The code would make Google pay to provide content (Getty Images).

The Claim

Google threatened to shut down search in Australia if they pass a digital news code.

Emerging story

On January 22, 2020, Benedict Evans tweeted that Google and Australia were having intense arguments over the use of digital news code.

Twitter users loved this post and it was shared my many. Some argued on behalf of Google while others argued that Australia was in the right.

Misbar’s Analysis

Australia is currently entertaining legislation for digital news to regulate how big companies like Google use and disseminate news articles. This legislation would require Google to pay a fair price for the content it provides users.

In response to this legislation, Google has refused to pay this price. Instead, they’ve claimed that such a ban will result in them withdrawing their search services from Australia. In a recent blog, they list some of the reasons the code is unfair and would directly harm their business. One of these reasons highlights the impact the code would have on their current business infrastructure, causing what they claim to be an “unmanageable financial and operational risk."

What’s the impact if Google actually withdraws from Australia? Roughly 25 million Australians would no longer have access to the benefits and search services provided by Google. They’d be required to find and leverage alternate services.   

To no surprise, Facebook has already followed suit with a similar threat as Google. In their Aug 2020 statement, Facebook stated that they would remove news from the feeds of Australian users if the code required them to pay news media companies as well.

As such, given the information presented on this claim Misbar finds this investigation to be true.

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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