Feeds

Oz watchdog accuses Google of misleading public

Organic

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

The Australian competition watchdog has accused Google of "misleading and deceptive conduct".

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken action against Google Inc, Google Ireland Limited, and Google Australia Pty Ltd in the Federal Court, Sydney, saying Google has breached the Trade Practices Act by failing to adequately distinguish between sponsored links on its website and "organic" search results.

The watchdog said that, in 2005, sponsored links for Newcastle car dealerships Kloster Ford and Charlestown Toyota would also direct users to the site of classified ad magazine Trading Post, a rival in the business.

The ACCC has also taken action against Trading Post.

An ACCC statement says it is seeking declarations from both Google and Trading Post that they breached the Trade Practices Act, as well as an injunction "restraining Google from publishing search results that do not expressly distinguish advertisements from organic search results".

Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) reports that Google Australia said it would fight the claims.

"Google Australia believes that these claims are without merit and we will defend against them vigorously," spokesman Rob Shilkin told SMH. "They represent an attack on all search engines and the Australian businesses, large and small, who use them to connect with customers throughout the world."

The ACCC's statement says while Google has faced action in other countries over trademark issues, it is "the first regulatory body to seek legal clarification of Google's conduct from a trade practices perspective". ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know
What do you mean, we've ditched Redmond in favour of IBM?!
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.