It appears Google might bowl Australia out and leave the country if it's forced to come to some deal whereby it has to pay news publishers for the news it links to.
Google's argument is that it helps generate links to news sites in the first place, thus driving readers to them.
It's the way the money flows that matters though, and the article notes that for every A$100 spend on digital advertising, A$81 of it goes to Google or Facebook. That's an astonishing financial dominance.
Part of the problem, I believe, is the lack of competition. There aren't that many search engines that crawl the web to provide full, user-facing results. The main ones are Google, Yandex, Baidu, and Microsoft (Bing) and, in the Western world at least, Google is by far the most dominant.
A lot of so-called search engines might do a partial crawl but they'll fill out their results with data from the crawls of the bigger players.
Crawling the web is expensive, though. A lot of bandwidth is used. So it would need a big player to come in and challenge Google. I think that's needed, though.
There are holes in Google's search results another player could exploit. Google provides generally good results for simple search terms but it's often woeful with specifics.