As Canberra pushed technology companies to pay media companies for their content, Google had begun to hide Australian news sites from some local users.

Australia’s plan to force Google and Facebook to pay media organizations when their platforms host their content or face multi-million dollar fines. This is the most aggressive move globally to check the strength of American digital giants.

The “world number one” rule that will take effect this year will apply to Facebook’s “news digest” and Google search-and has attracted the ire of tech companies.

According to the Australian Financial Review, Google is blocking some major business news media from a small number of search users, including its headers, News Corp newspapers and the Australian Guardian.

According to reports, old links or content from other sites have appeared.

A Google spokesperson said that these changes are part of “thousands of experiments.”

He said in a statement: “We are currently conducting some experiments, each of which will cover approximately 1% of Google search users in Australia to measure the interaction between the news business and Google search.”

He added: “In 2018, the value we provided to publishers through referral traffic alone was estimated at 218 million Australian dollars (approximately 12.35 billion rupees).”

Google has previously warned that if the law goes into effect, “the way Australians use Google will be at risk,” and Facebook has threatened to prevent Australian users and media organizations from sharing news reports.

As the global news media suffers in an increasingly digital economy, large technology companies have overwhelmingly received advertising revenue, and the program has received close attention worldwide.

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A Google spokesperson said that these experiments will be completed in early February.

© Thomson Reuters 2020

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