The company’s biggest concern with the proposal is that it “only requires payments for links and excerpts only for news results in search,” according to Silva.
“The free service we offer Australian users and our business model is built on the ability to link freely between sites,” she said.
Google and Facebook have been toying with publishers for years over how to display their content, media companies arguing that tech giants should pay them for the privilege. Critics of the two technology companies point out that since they dominate the online advertising business, it puts news publishers on a leash, leaving them crawling for leftovers.
The new legislation will allow certain media outlets to negotiate individually or collectively with Facebook and Google – and to enter into arbitration if the parties are unable to reach an agreement within three months, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. proposed legislation.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison hit back at Google later on Friday.
Asked about Morrison’s comments, Google declined to comment.
A warning about ‘consequences’
The US giant is now proposing three changes to the code, including how it will compensate news publishers.
The company also wants to change a requirement that will force Google to notify publishers of changes to its algorithm, saying it should only do so “to ensure publishers are able to respond to changes that affect them. “
“There is a clear path to a fair and workable code,” Silva said. “Withdrawing our services from Australia is the last thing I or Google want to happen – especially when there is another way forward.”
An aggressive fight
At the same Senate hearing on Friday, Simon Milner, Facebook’s vice president of public policy for Asia and the Pacific, said the company could eventually block news content in Australia, although he stressed a commitment to “make the law workable.”
Milner told lawmakers there was already a “deterrent effect of this law on investment in the Australian news industry”, citing a recent decision by Facebook to launch a news product in the UK instead of Australia.
Regulators say legislation is needed to create a level playing field for news media in Australia, as newsrooms across the country have reduced service, closed temporarily or closed permanently.
Hanna Ziady contributed to this report.