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ACCC to appeal Google decision

Dead horse: check. Whip: check.

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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has decided it will appeal against the decision that recently let Google off the hook in relation to misleading advertisements in Australia.

Back in September, Federal Court judge Justice Nicholas had decided that while “ad-squatting” – a business buying ads using the trading names of competitors – is nefarious, it’s not something that Google is responsible for.

“Justice Nicholas found that although a number of the advertisements were misleading or deceptive, Google had not made those representations. Google merely communicated representations made by the advertiser. As such, Justice Nicholas ruled that Google had not breached the Trade Practices Act,” the ACCC’s press release states.

The competition regulator is now appealing to the full bench of the Federal Court, on the basis that “Google’s key word insertion system, plus the role of Google staff” were vital to the false advertisements being placed.

“It is important that they are held directly accountable for misleading or deceptive paid search results when they have been closely engaged in presenting and publishing those results,” chairman Rod Sims states in the release. ®

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