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BREAKING: PM Talks To Global Google Boss

Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke with Sundar Pichai (pictured), CEO of Google parent company Alphabet, this morning.

The PM had a conversation with Pichai via video call this morning on the ongoing dispute surrounding the government’s proposed News Media Bargaining Code, which would force tech giants like Google and Facebook to pay for links to Australian news content; reports in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian indicate that Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher were also on the call.

In a press conference this afternoon, PM Morrison described the conversation as “constructive”, and said he sent the “best possible signals” to encourage Google to comply with the code; according to the PM, the discussion is now in a “much more positive state”.

“They understand that Australia sets the rules,” he said.

Google has warned it will have “no choice” but to shut down Search in Australia if the code goes ahead, while Microsoft has pledged to improve its rival Bing search engine to equal Google’s performance, and abide by the code, if Google pulls out of the country. Google Search represents about 95 per cent of all search traffic in Australia.

More to come.

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