Google $90M Click Fraud Settlement: What It Means, and Its Impact on Advertisers

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The recent settlement offer by Google for $90M to advertisers is fraught with terms and conditions which, in the view of Clickrisk, are highly inequitable and fail to solve the larger click fraud and billing integrity issue.

The recent settlement offer by Google for $90M relating to the case of Lane's Gifts and Collectibles et al. v. Google, Inc. et al., case No. CV-2005-52-1 in the Circuit Court of Miller County, Arkansas is fraught with terms and conditions which, in the view of Clickrisk, are highly inequitable and fail to solve the larger click fraud and billing integrity issue. None of the real issues surrounding click fraud were addressed with the proposed settlement. The preliminary settlement has been approved by the Court, and all members of the class are being notified about the settlement as of May 19, 2006. This notice is being sent out to all online advertisers who purchased advertising from Google from January 1, 2002 to present.

What is this case about?

In 2005, plaintiffs Lane’s Gifts and Collectibles and Max Caufield Investigations alleged that Google breached its contract with class members and violated the law by failing to detect and mitigate click fraud or other invalid or improper clicks on online advertisements.

Google has argued that all payments received from class members were legally and properly charged, and that it has not breached its contract with class members nor violated any other laws through the actions alleged.

Based on Clickrisk's independent research in speaking to various advertisers, top litigation lawyers, and others closely following the case, Clickrisk has compiled a fact sheet and information grid to help guide advertisers in deciding whether or not to opt-out of the settlement.

What does this case mean for advertisers?

There are a few while limited options that advertisers have, ranging from submitting a claim form, doing nothing, or completely opting-out of the settlement.

We at Clickrisk are strongly recommending to our clients to opt-out of this settlement proposal as we view it as unfair to advertisers and fails to resolve the larger issue and risk of Google client overbillings where evidence of click fraud is proven to be pervasive.

Click here -- http://www.clickfraud.com/click-fraud-advisory-clickrisk-060206.pdf for summary information on what your options are, and how they may impact you.

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Adam Sculthorpe
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