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Australia to shift ‘power imbalance’ between Google and news orgs
Pic: Shutterstock

19 Aug 2020 / data law Print

Australia to move on Google and news media 'imbalance'

Mooted competition laws in Australia have been sharply criticised by internet search behemoth Google.

The search engine says its search service will be at risk if news organisations are paid for their content.

Google also claimed the proposed laws will benefit large media companies and give them an unfair advantage over small publishers and users of Google's YouTube.

 Consumer data

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) wants to crack down on how both Google and social media site Facebook mine consumer data.

An open letter on Google’s Australia home page says that the new laws will ‘hurt’ how Australians use Google Search and YouTube.

"You've always relied on Google Search and YouTube to show you what's most relevant and helpful to you. We could no longer guarantee that under this law," writes Australia managing director Mel Silva.
 
The proposed law "wouldn't just impact the way Google and YouTube work with news media businesses – it would impact all of our Australian users" she wrote. 

The News Media Bargaining Code, would ‘force’ Google to give a ‘dramatically worse’ search service.

Silva also claims that user data will be handed over to big news businesses, and would put free services at risk in Australia.

'Fair payment'

The ACCC responded by accusing Google of publishing "misinformation".

The new law will allow Australian news businesses “to negotiate for fair payment for their journalists' work that is included on Google services," ACCC chair Rod Sims responded.

"This will address a significant bargaining power imbalance between Australian news media businesses and Google and Facebook," he said.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland