robdwoods - 12:09 am on Jan 21, 2012 (gmt 0)
None of this will matter if it doesn't affect the behavior of the average Google user. Very few people outside of industry will hear about this and even fewer will care - and almost none will change their behavior (clicking on ads). Why would Google care about losing a little more cred with people in the online marketing industry? We aren't their customers. As long as Google's actions don't land them in court, and don't affect the behavior of the average user, they could care less about a minor flap like this that will be forgotten in a week. As long as users keep using Google they will dominate the industry and we will have no choice but to play their game.
Also, if it does become a legal issue expect them to sell the local team down the river and deny any knowledge of their actions.
Finally, can we stop being surprised by a huge corporation's aggressive business practices and raising the cry "what about Don't Do Evil"? Are people actually naive enough to think that slogan was ever much more than branding and PR?