Google on Friday threatened to make its search engine unavailable in Australia if the government went ahead with plans to make tech giants pay for news content. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison quickly hit back, saying “we don't respond to threats.” “Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia,” Morrison told reporters in Brisbane.
Indian shares slipped on Friday, as investors locked in profits after major indexes hit record highs in the previous session and as a global rally took a breather, while the focus turned to Reliance Industries' quarterly earnings later in the day. Reliance Industries gained 0.7% ahead of its December quarter earnings, which the oil to telecom conglomerate would report after the markets close. Asian shares eased from record highs, as investors took some profits after a recent rally that was driven by hopes of a massive U.S. economic stimulus plan by incoming President Joe Biden.
Google and Facebook Inc have granted an Australian local government news provider status, drawing questions about the internet giants' efforts to curate news media. Bundaberg Council, a regional government, told Reuters a website it runs received classification as a Google "news source", making it the country's first local government with that accreditation. That means a council-funded website containing only public relations content gets priority in Google News searches about the agriculture hub of 100,000 people, accompanied by a "news source" tag.