Unfazed By Antitrust In The U.S., Big Tech Faces A Growing Nuisance From Down Under

By David Jeans, Forbes

Rod Sims was perhaps one of the only people in Australia who didn’t flinch last month when Google threatened to pull its Google Search from the country. As Australia’s top antitrust watchdog, Sims and the agency he leads, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, has been behind a law that will force it to pay news publishers for featuring articles on its site.

Google, which is valued above $1 trillion, almost as much as the entire GDP of Australia, and holds a 94% share of the online search market there, has waged an aggressive lobbying campaign to prevent the law from going ahead. Facebook, too, had also vowed to withdraw its news service from Australia if the law is passed. 

Even the United States, which is leading its own multi-agency antitrust campaign against Big Tech companies, has sided with Google and Facebook, attacking the Australian proposed law as “fundamentally imbalanced” and suggesting it could violate the U.S.-Australia free trade agreement. Instead, the U.S. government suggested Australia scrap the law in favor of a voluntary requirement.  

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