Google has attacked a new Australian law that forces tech giants to pay local news outlets, saying it could threaten search services in the country.
In an open letter, the company warned that its YouTube and search functions could be “dramatically worse” if new rules were introduced.
He also added that user data could be shared.
But the Australian competition regulator said the Google letter was “misinformation”.
In recent months, the Australian government has been preparing legislation that will make Google and Facebook pay local publishers for their content.
Today Google said it will fight the regulation which, according to the government, is designed to create a “level playing field” for news outlets.
In an open letter, Google CEO for Australia Mel Silva wrote:
“The way Australians search Google every day is at risk due to the new regulation.
“You have always relied on Google Search and YouTube to show you what is most relevant and useful to you. We could no longer guarantee it under this law.”
Google search and YouTube services would be “dramatically worse” and the new regulation “could lead to your data being handed over to the big news companies,” Ms. Silva said.
What are the proposals?
Last month, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission released a draft law calling on internet companies like Facebook and Google to pay for content.
It would allow news companies to bargain en masse with tech giants for content that appears in their news feeds and search results.
The draft code also covers other issues, including notifying news companies of algorithm changes.
The penalties could go as high as AU $ 10 million (£ 5 million; $ 7 million) for default, or 10% of the company’s local revenue.
Today, the competition regulator said Google’s open letter “contains misinformation” about the bill.
“Google will not be required to charge Australians for the use of its free services such as Google Search and YouTube, unless they choose to do so,” Rod Sims, president of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, said in a statement.
“Google will not be required to share any additional user data with Australian news outlets unless it chooses to do so.”
Mr. Sims said the new regulations “will address a significant bargaining power imbalance” between Australian media and Internet organizations.
“A healthy news media industry is essential for a well-functioning democracy,” he added.