Google bombards Australian search users as PR campaign intensifies

A link to Google’s proposal to a workable news code on the company’s homepage in Sydney, Australia. Google’s critics said its pinned message only underscored the company’s willingness to use its market dominance for its own advantage. — Bloomberg

SYDNEY: US tech giant Google stepped up its public relations campaign against Australian regulation on Jan 29, presenting all search users Down Under with a “proposal” to water down planned rules.

Australians searching for any term were presented with a pop-up setting out the company’s opposition to proposed legislation that would force them to pay news companies for content.

Google and Facebook have vehemently opposed the proposed rules, which are designed to rebalance the relationship between long-struggling news companies and tech giants that dominate the online advertising market.

Under the new laws, the firms would be required to compensate Australian media outlets – ranging from Rupert Murdoch’s giant News Corp to public broadcaster ABC – for publishing snippets of their content in search results or news feed.

The rules are being closely watched around the world, as governments consider how to better regulate online media companies that have become some of the biggest and most influential entities on Earth.

Google has deployed hardball tactics to try and gut the legislation, threatening to pull its search service from Australia altogether and carrying out an “experiment” that blocked Australian news sites from some users.

But Friday’s action marked a new stage in the campaign, one focused on winning over internet users to Google’s cause.

In a linked video, Mel Silva, managing director for Google Australia, warns the new rules would “break the way that search engines work” and threaten a “free and open web”.

That view has been backed by World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, who recently argued the new Australian law – due to come into force this year – is “unworkable” and would undermine a “fundamental principle” of the Internet.

But Google’s critics said Friday’s pinned message only underscored the company’s willingness to use its market dominance for its own advantage.

“Google AU: We’re not a monopoly/don’t participate in anti-competitive behaviour... Also Google AU: we will use our 95% search market share to undermine regulation we don’t like,” tweeted Jordan Guiao of the Australia Institute, a left-leaning think tank. – AFP

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Australia , search engine


Next In Tech News

Saudi Aramco to co-lead report on cyber resilience in oil industry
Fisker to supply up to 700 vehicles to UK-based Onto in 2023
U.S. lawmakers urge Facebook to drop plans for Instagram for kids
Product warranty startup Extend raises $260 million, SoftBank leads funding
Buyers beware as "altcoin" frenzy bruises bitcoin
French broadcasters close ranks with anti-Netflix merger
Biden administration eyes cybersecurity funding after hacks
Mobileye, ZF team on advanced safety systems for Toyota
Toyota to halt production at two plants due to chip shortage
Gamestop, AMC short sellers sit on nearly $1 billion loss - Ortex

Stories You'll Enjoy