Feeds

Google hit by class action lawsuit over claimed AdSense fraud

Serial suer takes on the Chocolate Factory again

Boost IT visibility and business value

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Google over allegations by a claimed former employee that the Chocolate Factory is defrauding users of its AdSense platform.

The legal action, filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California on Tuesday, claims that Google knowingly canceled the AdSense accounts of customers so that it wouldn't have to pay out any revenues from internet users' clicks.

"This wrongful practice has sparked numerous bitter complaints from website owners across the Web, with some reporting losses reaching thousands of dollars a pop," said Steve Berman, attorney representing consumers and founding partner of law firm Hagens Berman.

"What we believe to be true from our research is that Google's practice is likely hurting thousands of website owners and operators who feel they have no way to fight a giant company like Google."

The lawsuit mirrors allegations made online in April by a claimed former employee of Google who asserted that the Chocolate Factory has a huge system in place to systematically defraud AdSense users. The posting claims that the program has been in place since 2009 and also involved monkeying about with Google analytics data.

At the time, the head of Google's Webspam team, Matt Cutts, called the claims "complete BS" and "a conspiracy-laden fake." He said that the claims had been investigated and there was no truth to them.

No Google employees are mentioned in the lawsuit. Instead, the class action was filed on behalf of a California firm, Free Range Content, Inc. The firm claims it was done out of $40,000 in fees when Google pulled the plug on its account.

Google has yet to respond to a request for comment on the suit. But based on Friday's truce with Apple, the online ad-slinger should have a lot of lawyers with time on their hands to look into this.

This is the second lawsuit this month filed by Hagens Berman against Google. At the start of May it sued the Chocolate Factory for making Google Search the standard on Android handsets, which the law firm claims means Google is monopolizing its position and driving up Android phone prices. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
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
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
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.