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Australia’s Proposed Media Code Turns Up the Heat on Google and Facebook

MIN READJan 22, 2021 | 22:03 GMT

A photo taken on Oct. 21, 2020, shows the logos (left to right) of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok on a computer screen.

(DENIS CHARLET/AFP via Getty Images)

Australia’s pursuit of a media code that would force Facebook and Google to pay for sharing content from local media companies risks pushing the U.S. tech giants to pull some of their services from the country. During a Jan. 22 Australian Senate hearing, Google’s Managing Director for Australia and New Zealand Mel Silva said that if the country’s News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code is implemented in its current form, Google would have no choice but to remove Google Search from Australia. Later in the day, Facebook representatives echoed these remarks, threatening to pull Facebook News from Australia. In response to Google’s ultimatum, Prime Minister Morrison said that his country does not respond to threats....

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