Author's Opinion

The views in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of iTWire.

Have your say and comment below.

Friday, 02 October 2020 10:43

Come to heel, Australia, says Pichai, holding out a carrot

Come to heel, Australia, says Pichai, holding out a carrot Image by Candid_Shots from Pixabay

Google has held out a nice, juicy carrot overnight, hoping that Australia will bite and agree to the terms that it wants for the media code that is being negotiated with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

What Sundar Pichai, the head of Alphabet, Google's parent company, held out was very attractive: US$1 billion (A$1.39 billion). And he mentioned that only 200 companies from six countries had been signed up, though Australia, one of the six, would not be invited in unless it sorted out things peacefully with ANZ managing director Melanie Silva.

Simple division will tell anyone that if the scheme is limited to those numbers, then it is a windfall: US$5 million apiece. But then Pichai did not offer the context that there are a few more than six countries on the face of the planet. He only mentioned three more: India, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Nor did he mention that the same scheme would be extended to other language markets. And those are far more lucrative than the English news market. The newspaper with the highest circulation in Asia is Japanese: the Asahi Shimbun. The newspaper with the second highest circulation in Asia is Indian: the Malayala Manorama.

How far will Google take this so-called Google News Showcase? The company earned profits of US$31.53 billion for the year ending June 2020; revenue in 2019 was US$134.81 billion. Thus, doling out a few more billions to avoid stoushes like the one going on in Australia will not prevent Pichai from receiving the handsome bonuses he gets each year.

But for Australia to get a seat at the table, Silva's list of demands has to be met. As the ACCC has it now, Google and publishers will get three months to cut deals or else will have to agree to a decision taken by a middleman, with one side's offer prevailing.

As ACCC chair Rod Sims has put it: "There will be changes, but the core of the code can't change. You need an arbitration mechanism, you need a non-discrimination clause. They are ... the glue that holds the code together, that makes it workable."

Google is reluctant to answer queries about whether it will leave Australia if Silva is snubbed. I've asked about this twice, but got evasive replies. Facebook came right out and threatened to leave, but Google does not want to do that.

Whatever changes take place, we will know the outcome in a few short weeks.

Subscribe to ITWIRE UPDATE Newsletter here

Now’s the Time for 400G Migration

The optical fibre community is anxiously awaiting the benefits that 400G capacity per wavelength will bring to existing and future fibre optic networks.

Nearly every business wants to leverage the latest in digital offerings to remain competitive in their respective markets and to provide support for fast and ever-increasing demands for data capacity. 400G is the answer.

Initial challenges are associated with supporting such project and upgrades to fulfil the promise of higher-capacity transport.

The foundation of optical networking infrastructure includes coherent optical transceivers and digital signal processing (DSP), mux/demux, ROADM, and optical amplifiers, all of which must be able to support 400G capacity.

With today’s proprietary power-hungry and high cost transceivers and DSP, how is migration to 400G networks going to be a viable option?

PacketLight's next-generation standardised solutions may be the answer. Click below to read the full article.


WEBINAR PROMOTION ON ITWIRE: It's all about webinars

These days our customers Advertising & Marketing campaigns are mainly focussed on webinars.

If you wish to promote a Webinar we recommend at least a 2 week campaign prior to your event.

The iTWire campaign will include extensive adverts on our News Site and prominent Newsletter promotion and Promotional News & Editorial.

This coupled with the new capabilities 5G brings opens up huge opportunities for both network operators and enterprise organisations.

We have a Webinar Business Booster Pack and other supportive programs.

We look forward to discussing your campaign goals with you.


Sam Varghese

website statistics

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

Share News tips for the iTWire Journalists? Your tip will be anonymous




Guest Opinion

Guest Interviews

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News