Whitey - 10:22 pm on Apr 4, 2012 (gmt 0)
There are likely deep implications globally in this ruling, making the principle of "enablers" responsible for showing content that meets the reasonable expectation of the user and operate within the law.
I think that in print and general media forms, this has always been clear, but use of search as the platform has more recently allowed negligence to slip in. Probably Google will change it's contractual terms and conditions with advertisers to make them responsible.
The ACCC only pushes cases of significance in the trading standards that it seeks to monitor and enforce in the interests of openess and fairness. This was at the high end of negligence and/or deception, so it was important to make a statement through the Courts.
Having said that, Australia is one of the few countries that permit monopolies to exist. At the same time businesses are not permitted to use market power to control the market and the ACCC administer those standards. Try and figure that one out.