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Google faces backlash over heavy-handed tactics

February 17, 2021

Google faces backlash over heavy-handed tactics

Australians have not responded well to Google’s threat to remove its search function from the country in response to a proposed media bargaining code, research shows.

Australians have not responded well to Google’s threat to remove its search function from the country in response to a proposed media bargaining code, research shows.

The tech giant signalled plans to pull search from Australian shores if the Federal Government passes legislation which would force major online platforms (including Google and Facebook) to share their profits with local news content publishers.

Mel Silva, the managing director for Google Australia and New Zealand, said in January such a code would be “untenable” for the business, and they would have “no real choice” but to remove search.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison hit back at the company, noting that Parliament – not major companies – makes the rules for businesses operating in Australia.

“That’s how things work here in Australia, and people who want to work with that, in Australia, you’re very welcome,” he said.

“But we don’t respond to threats.

This sentiment appears to be shared by Australian consumers, according to new research by data analytics firm Pureprofile.

A nationally-representative survey, run for the Australian Financial Review, showed of 1000 Australians surveyed, one-third (34%) of respondents were more likely to support the proposed code as a result of Google’s purported plans to leave the country.

Only 23% of respondents said the company’s threats would make them less likely to support the code, while the remaining 44% said they were uncertain.

Speaking to Australian Financial Review, Pureprofile CEO Martin Filz said Google has seemingly failed to understand consumers are growing wary of large tech companies.


“People are worried about their privacy. They’re worried that Facebook, Google and Twitter are being used for purposes of propaganda and fake news in things like the US election,
” he said.

“So when Google says ‘We’ll pull the search engine’, the population says ‘Well go on then.’ There is a general backlash at the moment regarding Big Tech, and Google has been caught out a little bit by the Australian population,” Mr Filz added.

Following Google’s announcement, rival tech company Microsoft signalled it would make necessary changes to its Bing search engine to step in and fill the gap left by Google’s departure.

Microsoft added that it supports the proposed code and is happy to abide by it despite the search engine not yet being subject to the proposed legislation.

 

Pureprofile is a global leader in data and insights, programmatic media and performance media, and delivers next-generation marketing solutions for more than 700 brands, publishers and research groups worldwide. 

Pureprofile’s unique offering draws on declared, first party data willingly provided by millions of consumers across the world.

The business’ clients can access this data through a self-serve, software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform which also enables them to commission surveys to address specific business challenges they might be facing.

If you would like to stay updated on Pureprofile news and updates, please register your interest on their Investor Centre.

 

Reach Markets have been engaged by PPL to help manage their investor communications. 

Sources:

 


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