Google is running a "protection racket" designed to build its own digital "superstate", according to Mathias Döpfner, the man behind some of Europe's best-selling newspapers.
Döpfner, who is the chief executive of Europe's largest newspaper publisher, accused Google in a blistering open letter in the German daily the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of abusing its monopolistic position in the digital market. He alleged that Google operated a system that "in less reputable circles would be called a protection racket", by discriminating against competitors in search rankings.
Google operates its "global net-monopoly" under a philosophy of "if you don't want us to finish you off, you better pay".
Despite running one of the most successful print publishing businesses in the world, Döpfner warned that he and his business had become unhealthily dependent on Google and its ability to drive huge amounts of traffic towards or away from sites.
"We – and many others – are dependent on Google," he admitted. "We're afraid of Google."
Döpfner is also worried about Google's future plans.
He expressed concerns that recent high-profile acquisitions like robot-manufacturer Boston Dynamics, and last week's purchase of drone satellite company Titan Aerospace, could allow Google to create a "digital super-state".
"The current state of things is that Google concerns itself with all the different facets of our professional and private lives, in the house, in the car, in our healthcare, and also in robotics."
"It [Google] affects our values, our humanity, our society and the world - from our perspective, especially the future of Europe."
According to Döpfner, Google CEO Larry Page "dreams of a world with no data protection laws and without democratic accountability", where Google can act with impunity.
"Google plans in all seriousness to create a digital superstate," he wrote, adding wryly that in the supranational entity Google is set to become, "they will only do good, of course, and 'won't do evil'."
Döpfner is also keen to show that his concerns aren't part of some ""Luddite conspiracy theory".
"To criticise Google is not to criticise the Internet," he wrote. "Those who are interested in a flawlessly functioning internet have to criticise Google. For us as a publishing house the internet is not a threat but one of the greatest chances in recent decades."
At the end of 2013, Google was slammed by Dutch privacy watchdogs, who accused the company of spinning "an invisible Web of our personal data, without our consent".
In January, Google was fined £124,000 in France for violations of the French Data Protection Act.
Google has yet to comment on Döpfner's comments.