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BREAKING: Google Threatens To Shut Down In Australia

Google has threatened to remove its search engine from Australia entirely if the News Media Bargaining Code goes ahead as is.

The code, which would force the search engine giant to negotiate payments to news companies, has been a sore point with Google for weeks.

But Google made the bold claim on Friday that it was prepared to completely pull the search function from Down Under if the code is not adjusted.

Google’s Australian managing director Mel Silva told a Senate committee this week the proposed news code would set a ‘dangerous precedent’ moving forward.

“The principle of unrestricted linking between websites is fundamental to search and coupled with the unmanageable financial and operational risk is this version of the code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia,” she said.

“Withdrawing our services from Australia is the last thing that Google want to have happen, especially when there is another way forward.”

Mel Silva

Google has proposed changes to the code to make it ‘workable’ and was prepared to enter into separate agreements with Aussie media companies to pay for content.

Silva denied Google was making a ‘threat’ to the senate and said it was the ‘worst case scenario’ if the code went ahead.

“It’s not a threat. It’s a reality,” Silva said.

Independent senator Rex Patrick compared Google’s threat to China’s threat against Australia’s trade and said the company was only concerned about revenue.

“It’s about breaking your bank account, that’s what this is about,” Patrick said. “It does not touch the internet and the way in which it works.” he said.

The hearing continues alongside Facebook, Australian media outlets and the ACCC.

Federal Parliament is expected to vote on the bill early this year after the committee delivers its report on February 12.

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