Google wins sponsored links case

Reported by AFP
Wednesday, February 6, 2013

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Internet titan Google has scored a court victory over the ACCC over claims of misleading advertising.

Australia's competition watchdog took Google to court alleging that adverts using keywords for Honda, Harvey World Travel, Alpha Dog Training and Just 4X4 Magazine were published by Google and led consumers to rival firms.

The ACCC lost the initial case but won an appeal in the Federal Court, which ruled that Google's technology created its search results.

Google had argued that it should not be held responsible for the content of ads on its platform because it was paid for and submitted by the advertisers.

The High Court alia overturned the appeal decision agreeing that the advertisers, not Google, were responsible for the content of so-called sponsored links.

"Google did not create the sponsored links that it published or displayed," the court said.

"Ordinary and reasonable users of the Google search engine would have understood that the representations conveyed by the sponsored links were those of the advertisers, and would not have concluded that Google adopted or endorsed the representations," it added.

"Accordingly, Google did not engage in conduct that was misleading or deceptive."

19/04/2014 12:57Sydney, Australia. 19 April,2014
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