Feeds

Google offers MS-style Seattlement for click fraud suit

$90m in credits, no more questions

The essential guide to IT transformation

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.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Judge nixes HP deal for director amnesty after $8.8bn Autonomy snafu
Lawyers will have to earn their keep the hard way, says court
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?