Google invests $736 mln to mend Australia ties

Australia and Google appear to be on better terms after a year of arguments.

Google announced Tuesday (November 16) that it would invest about $736 million in the country over the next five years.

The U.S. firm said it planned to expand cloud infrastructure.

It would also set up a research hub staffed by Australian researchers and engineers, and partner with a national science group.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison:

"The announcement by Google is a one billion vote of confidence, I believe, in Australia's digital economy strategy. It is backing in the plan that we've set out.

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It's a very different tone to that taken by Google earlier this year.

In January the company said it might block its search engine in Australia.

That to avoid new laws forcing Google and Facebook to pay news outlets for content posted to their websites.

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

Google's announcement wasn't wholly welcomed by all, though.

One Australian think tank focused on 'responsible technology' called the spending commitment a 'great headline'.

But it argued 'paying tax on Australian earnings would deliver far more for the country'.

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