The company’s main concern with the proposal is that “it will require payments only for links and snippets only for news in search results,” according to Silva.
“The free service we offer to Australian consumers and our business model are built on the ability to connect freely between websites,” she said.
Google and Facebook have been battling publishers for years over how they display their content, and media companies say technology giants must pay them for the privilege. Critics of the two technology companies point out that because they dominate the online advertising business, this puts news publishers in trouble and leaves them to fight for leftovers.
The new legislation will allow some media outlets to negotiate either individually or collectively with Facebook and Google – and enter arbitration if the parties are unable to reach an agreement within three months, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which published the proposed legislation.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded to the Google strike later Friday.
Asked about Morrison’s remarks, Google declined to comment.
The US giant is now proposing three changes to the code, including how it would compensate news publishers.
The company also wants to amend a requirement that would force Google to notify publishers of changes to its algorithm, saying it should do so only “to ensure that publishers can respond to changes that affect them.”
“There is a clear path to a fair and working Code,” Silva said. “Withdrawing our services from Australia is the last thing that I or Google want to happen – especially when there is another way forward.”
During the same Senate hearing Friday, Simon Milner, Facebook’s vice president of public policy for the Asia-Pacific region, said the company could eventually block news content in Australia, although he stressed his commitment to “make the law work.” “.
Milner told lawmakers he already had a “dissuasive effect on the 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 level the playing field for news media in Australia, as newsrooms across the country have reduced service, closed temporarily or permanently closed.
– Hanna Ziady contributed to this report.