SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia on Thursday urged Google to “focus on paying for original content, not blocking it” after the internet giant said it was conducting tests limiting access to national news content, deepening the gap. between the tech giant and the government. . After Alphabet’s (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc-owned search engine provider said it was conducting experiments to determine the value of its service to Australian media, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg accused it of “blocking” users when you should pay for the content. “The digital giants should focus on paying for original content, not blocking it,” Frydenberg told reporters, referring to Google and social media giant Facebook Inc (NASDAQ :). The companies should “pay traditional media companies a fair sum of money for those news media companies that generate original content,” he added. The dispute shows the strong resistance of the so-called Big Tech firms to the laws that will force them to negotiate with the Australian media about the payment of the content that appears on their platforms. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, a government appointed arbitrator will decide for them. In a long-running dispute, Google and Facebook have called the rules unfair and suggested they would force them to limit their offerings in the country. After media reports said Australian news websites were not showing up in searches, Google confirmed that it was conducting unspecified tests in relation to the media. “We are currently running some experiments, each of which will reach around 1% of Google Search users in Australia to measure the impact of news companies and Google Search on each other,” said a spokesperson at an email, adding that the experiments would be concluded. in early February.