Feeds

Google offers MS-style Seattlement for click fraud suit

$90m in credits, no more questions

Top three mobile application threats

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.

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.