There’s a chance that Google could be leaving Australia and removing Google Search for the whole country if the Australian government makes Google pay to link to websites it lists in search results. This would be huge if this ends up actually happening.

Mel Silva, who is the company’s Australian managing director, told a Senate committee the proposed news code was untenable and would set a “dangerous precedent” for paying for links.

“The principle of unrestricted linking between websites is fundamental to search and coupled with the unmanageable financial and operational risk if this version of the code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia,” she said.

Mel also said:

“The latest version of the Code requires Google to pay to link to news sites, breaking a fundamental principle of how the web works and setting an untenable precedent for our business, the internet, and the digital economy. This is not just Google’s view. Many other respected voices have raised similar concerns in their submissions to the Senate Committee.”

Find more information at Search Engine Land and The Guardian