Google ads ruling hands win to Australian watchdog

Posted in: Legal & Security at 04/04/2012 14:00

The consumer watchdog has won a major battle against Google, the Federal Court finding the search giant engaged in false and misleading advertising using search ads.

But legal experts predict Google could look to the High Court in a bid to protect its lucrative advertising stream, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission successfully appealed a ruling handed down last September in the Federal Court that found Google was not responsible for search engine ads that directed consumers to rivals of the companies they were searching for between 2006 and 2008.

Also see:

Google deceived web users with search engine ads
Google has been found guilty of misleading or deceptive conduct through its placement of advertisements when searches are conducted.

In a judgment that could have implications for the way websites must comply with Australian law, the full Federal Court upheld an appeal yesterday by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that four companies had been misrepresented by Google's ''sponsored links'', which had suggested a commercial affiliation with a rival.

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