Note: This article was an April Fools Joke. Google is still operating in Australia.
Google will close its Australian operations, effectively blacklisting the country in response to the Federal Government's "evil" plan to filter the internet.
Gooooone for good
ZDNet.com.au has confirmed that the search engine giant will close its doors on Australia for good, effective immediately, marking the end of four years of its operation here and a long-running battle with the government over its plan to filter the internet.
Known for changing its famous logo to commemorate special occasions, Google's Australian site this morning featured a somewhat blunt statement on how the company viewed its place in the local market (see screenshot).
"We've already left China. That was clearly not a bluff and besides I couldn't take the food anyway," said Google CEO Eric Schmidt. "Oh yeah, and our company motto is always... I mean never ... wait, it's 'Don't Be Evil'. So we just can't be part of it."
Schmidt did however concede that it would be harder to leave Australia than China.
"It's a shame because our Sydney office has really nice views of the harbour. And have you seen our kitchen? I suppose Fairfax will want it now. Well, what's left of it anyway."
When asked for comment, Communications Minister Stephen Conroy was silent for a moment before shouting, "They can't blacklist us ... we've already blacklisted them!"
Conroy was stunned (Credit: Ben Grubb/ZDNet.com.au)
Some Microsoft representatives were on hand outside Conroy's office to offer their thoughts on Google's departure — and to hand out the many "Bing" T-shirts they had brought along.
"Look, we believe in competition, and now that Google is leaving Australia we will be able to compete," a Microsoft spokesperson said.
While it's goodbye to Google for Aussies, the company will retain a local presence, according to Schmidt.
"We expect to continue operations in the region — just not in Australia", said Schmidt. "We'll probably move to another nearby country, like Tasmania or something."