Australia Canada backs Australia Google standoff as politician calls Morrison
Big tech versus old media: When it comes to Google’s threats to pull search, SMEs are simply caught in the crossfire
"There are no good guys in the big tech versus old media fight. When the elephants butt heads, the ants get trampled."In Senate hearings on Friday, Google Australia head Mel Silva confirmed the company would pull its search engine from Australia if the federal government hurried ahead with its mandatory news bargaining code as currently drafted. This confirmed Crikey’s report the week earlier: the code, as is, means no Google search.
Canada has supported Australia's standoff with tech giant Google over paying for news content - after the search engine's global chief video-called Scott Morrison this week backing away from the company's threat leave Australia.
Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault is leading a similar push from his government and has previously tweeted Canada 'stands in solidarity with our Australian partners ... to introduce a more equitable digital framework'.
On Thursday and Friday more than 100 news websites across Canada displayed blank pages in protest at Google and Facebook's reluctance to pay media publishers for content appearing in search results.
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This week the global chiefs of Google, Sundar Pichai, and of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, both personally called Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
Google had previously threatened to remove the search bar from Australia - worth $4.8billion in revenue for the company - if the media code was passed by parliament.
Morrison said after the call with Mr Pichai that both parties were in 'a much more positive space about [Google's] ability to continue to provide services here in Australia.'
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Google will pay $US2.6 million to settle racial and gender-bias claims, the US Department of Labour said Monday. Google reached the agreement with after a DOL audit found "preliminary" evidence of bias.Google must also review its pay and hiring practices, conduct a gender pay equity study, and provide updates about its progress toward closing the gender pay gap as part of the deal, which was signed on January 15 and made public by the DOL on Monday.
In a stunning move that may have prompted Google's backtrack, a day earlier Microsoft publicly announced they would support a media code and invest in their search engine Bing to fill the gap should Google leave Australia.
The Australian government is considering legislating mandatory arbitration between tech giants and news publishers who cannot reach a commercial agreement - requiring each party to accept an offer deemed appropriate by the arbitrator.
Video: Google needs 'to come to terms' with media barging code because there’s ‘no way out’ (Sky News Australia)
Google claims the precedent this will set by requiring the trillion dollar company to pay for news content appearing in search results presents an existential threat to their business model.
The draft legislation currently only applies to Google and Facebook, however, other tech companies could be added later - with Microsoft saying they would have no problem being included.
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Trading app Robinhood app has sunk back down to a one-star rating on Google Play Store. Google deleted 100,000 negative reviews on Thursday, written after Robinhood limited purchases of GameStop stock. This brought the app back up to four stars. But Google is not stepping in for a new wave of negative reviews, it said. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Stock-trading app Robinhood on Tuesday dropped down to a one-star rating on the Google Play app store for the second time in less than a week â€" and this time, Google isn't riding to the rescue.
On Thursday Mr Guilbeault issued a statement saying Canada was closely watching how the situation between the Australian government, Google and Facebook played out.
'Our position is clear: publishers must be adequately compensated for their work and we will support them as they deliver essential information for the benefit of our democracy and the health and well-being of our communities,' he said.
'We must address the market imbalance between news media organizations and those who benefit from their work.'
Industry agency News Media Canada also warned in an open letter, penned by president John Hinds, to Canadian parliament that legitimate news organisations must be supported to counter the growing amount of fake news and conspiracy theories online.
Google opens paid-for Australia news platform in drive to derail Canberra's content payment law
Google opens paid-for Australia news platform in drive to derail Canberra's content payment lawBy Colin Packham
'These massive American companies get virtually all of the revenue and don't pay for content,' he said.
'Movie content doesn't work that way in Canada. Music content doesn't work that way. TV show content doesn't work that way. So why is news content treated differently?'
On Friday, Google launched their News Showcase product - their solution to the dispute - with news organisations curating content to be featured on the service.
Google would then pay directly for this content, often found behind paywalls, to be able to display to search engine users - and have allocated a $1.3billion global budget for their service over three years.
Google has already reached deals with more than 450 publications globally.
The Australian government has said their preferred option would be for Google, Facebook and publishers to reach their own agreements with the legislation acting as a safety net.
Google search departure could devastate Australian small businesses, owners say .
Small businesses are worried about tech giant Google pulling its search engine from Australia. "The impact on my business would be devastating, as well as [for] thousands of other small businesses in Australia," Mr Sali told ABC News.Google is well and truly the dominant player in Australia's online advertising market.According to research firm IBISWorld, Google has more than 40 per cent share of the $9.7 billion industry.It's followed by REA Group with a 7.9 per cent share, and Facebook at 7.4 per cent share.Mr Sali runs a Melbourne-based business called The Headshot Guy.