MOUNTAIN VIEW, California: Google has come out guns blazing against allegations that it has acted in a misleading and deceitful way in failing to adequately distinguish "sponsored links" paid for by advertisers from "organic" search results.

The world's number one online search engine is facing legal action by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The case, due to be heard next month in Sydney, is claimed to be the first of its kind and could have global repercussions for Google.

Ripostes company spokesman Rob Shilkin: "Google Australia believes that these claims are without merit and we will defend against them vigorously. They represent an attack on all search engines."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff