Google Warns Australians Could Lose Free Search

Google on Monday criticised proposed Australian antitrust laws, saying its free search service would be “at-risk” and users’ personal data could be shared if it is made to pay news organisations for their content.

The company said the proposed laws would also help big companies artificially inflate their search rankings, luring more viewers to their platforms and giving them an unfair advantage over small publishers.

The statement, advertised on Google’s main search page, marks an escalation of tensions between big tech companies and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

The proposed law would “allow Australian news businesses to negotiate for fair payment for their journalism that is included on Google services”, ACCC chair Rod Sims said in a statement.

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