A US-based news publisher has filed a class-action antitrust lawsuit against Google, alleging that the tech giant is “siphoning off” news publishers’ content, their readers, and ad revenue via its AI technologies.

The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court in Washington, DC, cited new AI technologies like Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE) and Bard AI chatbot as worsening the problem, reports TechCrunch.

The lawsuit, filed by Arkansas-based publisher Helena World Chronicle, that Google’s Bard AI was trained on a dataset that included “news, magazine and digital publications,” Helena World Chronicle argued that Google is “starving the free press” by sharing publishers’’ content on Google, resulting in loss of “billions of dollars” for them.

“When a user searches for information on a topic, Google displays a ‘Knowledge Panel’ to the right of the search results. This panel contains a summary of content drawn from the Knowledge Graph database,” the complaint read.

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“Google compiled this massive database by extracting information from Publishers’ websites – what Google calls ‘materials shared across the web’ – and from ‘open source and licensed databases’,” it added.

By 2020, the Knowledge Graph had grown to 500 billion facts about 5 billion entities, according to the report.

The lawsuit claimed that Google’s recent advances in AI-based search were implemented with “the goal of discouraging end-users from visiting the websites of Class members who are part of the digital news and publishing line of commerce.”

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According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, publishers believe they’ll lose somewhere between 20-40 percent of their website traffic when Google’s AI products are fully rolled out. In addition to damages, the lawsuit asks for an injunction that would require Google to obtain consent from publishers to use their website data to train its AI products. Google has yet to comment on the lawsuit.