Feeds

Google offers MS-style Seattlement for click fraud suit

$90m in credits, no more questions

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Google will pay $90 million to settle a class action click fraud lawsuit. Any web site operator who was also a Google ad network partner who can show improper charges over the past four years will be eligible for damages.

Google announced the news on a part of its site devoted to trivia, such as rating soft drinks. According to a weblog post from Google counsel Nicola Wong, doing her best to be folksy, "we're very near a resolution in that case, so we thought we'd offer an update."

How nice.

The case was brought by Lane's Gifts and Collectibles, an Arkansas merchant, and also names Yahoo! In December 2004, Google's CFO George Reyes called click fraud "the biggest threat to our business model."

The judge has yet to approve the deal. Avoiding a court trial will save Google some blushes. The Wall Street Journal notes that "spare it from having to disclose further details of its ad system and antifraud measures in court.

And the terms of the deal are likely to raise eyebrows, too.

Although the hole left in companies' advertising budgets by click fraud - typically initiated by competitors - is very real, the settlement doesn't offer any cash.

Taking a leaf out of Microsoft's book, Google is offering rebates on future use of the Google ad network.

Microsoft was criticized for using its punishment in antitrust lawsuits brought by individual US states to advance sales of its products in those state's public departments and schools. Like Google, Microsoft offered discounts on its software, rather than cash, which a Judge described as "court-approved predatory pricing."

A number of other private click fraud suits against Google remain outstanding, Google's blogging counsel failed to point out in her blog post. ®

Bootnote

A reader coined the neologism 'Seattlement' to refer to the process. It since caught on.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.