As we informed you yesterday, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) was due to hear from the Australian High Court regarding a case where a consumer watchdog claimed that Google held some responsibility for some misleading advertising that it posted on its Google Australia search pages. Well that ruling came down, and Google would be pleased to be called a magazine or newspaper. Except, profitable.
The Australian High Court threw out a lower federal court ruling, writing in its opinion that Google Inc. (NADAQ:GOOG) is essentially no different than a newspaper or magazines that publishes advertisements. “Google did not author the sponsored links; it merely published or displayed, without adoption or endorsement, misleading representations made by advertisers.”
The lower federal court ruled in April that The Trading Post, an advertiser on Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), Google Australia and Google Ireland were al in violation of the country’s Trade Practices Act when the Trading Post had links in its advertisements that used rival car dealerships as key words in searches that triggered its classified-advertising web site advertising to appear. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, which brought suit against all the entities, claimed The Trading Post advertisements were misleading, affecting users who might have been searching for the rival car dealerships but were directed to The Trading Post’s site.
ACCC Chairman Rod Sims wrote in a statement, “Specifically, we considered that providers of online content should be accountable for misleading or deceptive conduct when they have significant control over what is delivered.” He said the suit was brought to help clarify the law regarding misleading advertising, and hopes this will remind advertisers to be more clear in the ads they publish.
Wht do you think? We’d like your thoughts about this Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) story, or the company in general, in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I own no position in any stock mentioned.
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