Google should focus on paying for original content: Australia
January 26, 2021

Google should focus on paying for original content: Australia

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA) – Australia said on Thursday that Google should focus on paying for original content instead of blocking it. This comes after the internet behemoth said it was carrying out tests that limit access to domestic news content, widening the gap between the firm and the government.

The search engine provider, which is owned by Alphabet Inc, said it was carrying out experiments to ascertain the value of its service to news outlets in Australia, which prompted Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to accuse it of blocking users when it should be paying for the content.

“The digital giants should focus on paying for original content, not blocking it,” Frydenberg said in a press briefing, hinting at Google and Facebook.

He added that the firms should “pay traditional news media businesses a fair sum of money for those news media businesses generating original content”.

This tussle displays the strong resistance of the big tech firms towards laws forcing them to negotiate with news outlets in the country regarding payment for the content being featured on their platforms.

In case both parties fail to strike a deal, a government-appointed arbitrator will decide on their behalf. In a long-running feud, Google and Facebook have termed the rules unfair and said they would force them to curb their offerings in the country.

In the wake of media reports about Australian news websites not appearing in searches, Google said it was running tests in relation to news media.

“We’re currently running a few experiments that will each reach about 1% of Google Search users in Australia to measure the impacts of news businesses and Google Search on each other,” a spokesman said.

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