Google commits $740 mln to Australia months after threatening pull-out

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SYDNEY, Nov 16 (Businesshala) – Google will spend $1 billion ($736 million) in Australia over five years, the tech giant said on Tuesday, just months after it pulled its services from the country in response to strict government regulation. threatened.

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Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O)’s main operating unit said it plans to expand cloud infrastructure, set up a research center by Australian researchers and engineers and with science agency Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) have partnership.

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Google Australia managing director Mel Silva, who earlier this year threatened to block Google’s search engine in the country, said the spending plan would bring significant technical resources and investment.

Attending the funding announcement in Sydney, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was “a $1 billion confidence” in Australia’s digital economy strategy, which aims to bring the country into the top 10 digital economies worldwide by 2030. Is.

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“Google’s decision has huge benefits for Australian businesses as we engage with the economic recovery ahead of us,” Morrison said. “This will bring more to our shores STEM jobs in engineering, computing science and AI,” he said, using the acronym for science, technology, engineering and math.

Silva asked the company and social media operator Facebook Inc (F.B.O) during a hearing in Australia’s parliament in January to avoid laws forcing news outlets to pay for content posted on their websites, including Google’s search engine. threatened to block.

However, the law went ahead and Google backed down on its threat. Both Google and Facebook instead entered into licensing deals with most of Australia’s main media companies.

The federal government is due to begin a review of the law’s effectiveness in March.

Australia has also said it plans to make major Internet companies take legal responsibility for defamation and misinformation hosted on its platform, a change that has been largely opposed by the technology sector.

“We need to put in an equal amount of effort to make sure the digital world is safe and secure and reliable,” Morrison said.

($1 = 1.3592 Australian Dollar)

Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Jane Wardell

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