Google versus the Government

New legislation proposed by the federal government will force the tech giants to negotiate a fair payment with news organisations for using their content in newsfeeds and searches. As a result, Google has threatened to withdraw Google Search from Australia.

Google has about 90-95% of the search engine market share in Australia, similar to the rest of the world. Losing Google Search will have Australian internet users scrambling to find a suitable alternative. Other options for internet searching include Bing and Yahoo, but they have nowhere near Google Search's popularity.

If Google withdraws its search from Australia, they will set to lose $4.8 billion in revenue. I am sure Google has deep pockets and would wear the revenue loss, but this law's international precedence would have the big tech companies more concerned.

The government is doing the bidding of the new media organisations on this one.  They argue that the news media outlets are losing billions of dollars of advertising revenue to these behemoths. They claim it is only fair and reasonable for big tech to pay up for using other companies' content.

And it appears that the government has the majority of the population on their side. A recent poll found that most Australians wanted the government to regulate the tech giants and supported moves to make big tech pay for mainstream media content.

A bill has been sent to parliament, and the bargaining code could become law very soon. We will then see how serious Google is. I suspect Google won't carry through with their threat, but apply lots of pressure on the government, and find a mutually agreeable compromise.
Upon reading this, I don't see the government as threatening Google as much as they're threatening the Australian people. Why not put it back on the people and ask them to pay for "news". Then, it'd just be a matter of seeing if people valued it or not.
2021-01-29 13:20:48
Brian don't you think the people value having accessibility to the news via aggregation through Google more? Now I know what your previous comment meant lol. Earlier I really had no idea.

Peter do you have any hope on how you hope this all works out?
2021-01-30 02:11:46
I am a little bit ambivalent about the news stuff, as I subscribe to one of the major publications for my news. My expectation is that the two parties will meet somewhere in the middle.
2021-01-30 10:11:38