Daily Management Review

A New Proposed Law Could Force Google Out Of Australia


The Australian government is bringing a new law related to a  long standing demand on the need for tech companies to pay for news that appear in search results or those that are shared on its various platforms.
If the proposed law is passed, it would mean that the United States based search engine giant Google will have to strike commercial agreements with every news organization or will have to participate in forced arbitration, which is "unworkable" according to Google.
"If this version of the code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia," the regional director of the company, Mel Silva, said.
"We don't respond to threats" – the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Google.
In Australia, about 90-95 per cent of the search engine market share of the country is dominated by Google which is very similar to its market domination in the rest of the world.
However there are other alternatives including Microsoft's Bing, and Yahoo as well as the highly privacy focused ones such as DuckDuckGo.
However the ranking of Google is at the top and is the most-visited site on the internet according to the site analysis firm Alexa while Yahoo is a distant 11th and Bing is at 33rd position according to the ranking.
While the search engine Big was found to be working just fine most of the three months that a writer for Wired magazine used it exclusively in 2018, the writer found it very difficult to use in some specific cases such as accessing old articles because of he did not get the expected results using the same techniques that he learned and used for search using Google.
Additionally, apart from search engine services, Google also offers services such as Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, etc.
It is however still not clear whether the other services of Google would be affected by a pull out of Goggle from Australia.
And even though there are alternatives to those services, they are little used and many consumers view the additional Google services to be essential.
Chinese smartphone maker Huawei found that it was much more difficult to sell phones in the West after the company lost access to Google services on its phones because of sanctions by the United States government. 
"It's going to go worldwide. Are you going to pull out of every market, are you?" Australian Senator Rex Patrick told Google.
But the companies such as Google, Facebook and most of the other companies that would be affected by the new law are based in the US.
And the Australian government has been urged by the Trump administration to not "rush" with the new law while also warning that the law was "extraordinary" and there could be "long-lasting negative consequences" if it was passed and implemented.
Local laws have previously pushed Google to exit other markets previously even though those are no comparison to the Australia situation. Google services are mostly unavailable in mainland China since 2010 when there was a row over alleged Chinese hacking during which the company stopped censoring search results for Chinese users.