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Judge OKs $90 Million Google Click-Fraud Settlement

   
7:58 pm on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- An Arkansas state judge has given his final OK to a settlement that Google Inc. reached in a closely watched click-fraud class-action lawsuit. Under terms of the settlement, Google will provide up to $60 million in credit to affected advertisers dating back to 2002. Another $30 million from Google will go to pay attorneys' fees.

Judge OKs $90 mln Google click-fraud settlement
[marketwatch.com]

8:42 pm on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I'm glad to see the lawyers got their share since they're the ones most affected by this.
9:14 pm on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"Another $30 million from Google will go to pay attorneys' fees."

That is a joke. A third to the lawyers?

Daylight robbery, but nothing will ever happen about lawyers because the powers-that-be in Western 'democracies' often have relatives in the legal profession.

9:20 pm on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)



Blame yourselves for not opting out.
10:12 pm on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Daylight robbery, but nothing will ever happen about lawyers because the powers-that-be in Western 'democracies' often have relatives in the legal profession.

Perhaps a minor point, but unless you know exactly how many lawyers spent exactly how much time on this case, you can't really have an informed opinion on how much is too much.

<off topic> The U.S. isn't a democracy, but a Republic, which is governed by laws and principles, one of which is supposed to be that you can set your own prices for your services and people can either pay or go elsewhere. Not that I believe in price-gouging, of course, but capitalism is all about freedom of enterprise. </off topic>

10:59 pm on Jul 27, 2006 (gmt 0)



It really does pay to maintain good relationships with your customers I guess. The opinion of how much click fraud you thought there was (an opinion based probably for most on little hard evidence) on the claim form would have been decreased substantially with a little good faith.
12:27 am on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If you've ever been exposed to a major law firm doing a class action suit, you'll know that it costs millions as well to put together everything. This isn't something done easily or without thousands of man hours and the percentage is often a 1/3 sometimes a little less but its often well-deserved. Just think about the billion dollar settlements that've been in and out of court for 10-15 years. Lawyers have a huge upside but its an incredible effort to do it succesfully.
4:52 am on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



The most interesting this is this:

The $90 million agreement that Griffin ruled on affects Google only. Yahoo and other defendants in the case have chosen not to settle.
The deal was also hotly contested. So far, some 51 people objected to taking part in it, meaning they can still pursue separate legal actions against Google.

So, does Google admit to having a higher fraud rate than their rivals' systems?

And, if such a settlement may be considered as a concession of such, then how liable does this leave them to future litigation?

I mean, if they conceded that they have suffered fraudulent activity for the persons involved in this case, then they must concede the same in and of proportions to others' clients accounts, no?

5:44 am on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Well, time for another class sue.
3:18 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Chico Loco,
I agree. It doesn't seem that hard to take the money, how hard could it be for Google to re-imburse all accounts a percentage based on their spending during the time in question?

Ah- but,
I was experiencing some click fraud a few months ago and contacted them. I got standard letters shot out to me, and I continued to squeek for a bit but found out the culprit was actually a trojan on my own machine stealing the clicks! (I was testing from only one machine at the time) I'm not sure how this is done or if Google can track this sort of thing..

Imagine how red I was at this point?

I never informed Google either.. for shame!

4:39 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Once again..lawyers are making so much,even too much,one third is awsome amount of money
5:27 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



One third may seem like a lot of money. In this case it is a lot of money, $30M but lawyers are the biggest gamblers in our society. What if they lost? They would have collected zero and still have the expenses of bringing this suit to trial. I would venture a guess that they spent at least $2M to bring this suit to this point. That's a 15-1 return on investment, not bad odds.
6:21 pm on Jul 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Good. Im glad that they settled this way.
4:25 pm on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bigdave is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



So, does Google admit to having a higher fraud rate than their rivals' systems?

Nope, it is a settlement, not an admission. They agreed to pay to make the claim against them go away.

And, if such a settlement may be considered as a concession of such, then how liable does this leave them to future litigation?

It cannot be considered such a consession, and the courts would not allow it to be considered as such in future cases.

I mean, if they conceded that they have suffered fraudulent activity for the persons involved in this case, then they must concede the same in and of proportions to others' clients accounts, no?

Nope, since they did not concede that point, they agreed to pay the money to make the case go away.

Anyway, the case is not about how much click fraud there is, it is about whether the companies are doing enough to combat it.

7:09 pm on Jul 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Thanks BigDave.
12:54 am on Jul 31, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I think Google won't mind paying few millions every year for click frauds.
6:06 am on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



If it works out like most class action suits, my share should be roughly enough to buy a can of Coca-Cola and a Snickers bar....
8:45 am on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member kaled is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Anyway, the case is not about how much click fraud there is, it is about whether the companies are doing enough to combat it.

So what would it take to create a winnable case? For instance, if I were to devise a simple system to detect click fraud, patent it and offer to license it to Google, if Google declined would that be sufficient?

Kaled.

3:25 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)



So what would it take to create a winnable case?

I imagine that would depend on the specifics of the complaint.

For instance, if I were to devise a simple system to detect click fraud, patent it and offer to license it to Google, if Google declined would that be sufficient?

Your lawsuit would probably be dismissed on grounds of naiveté and arrogance. :-)

7:29 pm on Aug 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bigdave is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



So what would it take to create a winnable case?

It really depends on a lot of factors like what how the contract with the advertisers reads.

In the current case, the reason for settling is almost certainly related to the old double-click issue, and not how well they are are dealing with it currently, or how well they are dealing with actual click fraud.

For instance, if I were to devise a simple system to detect click fraud, patent it and offer to license it to Google, if Google declined would that be sufficient?

No. That would give you enough to include as a footnote.

Also, if you were the one that created and patented the system, you would be foolish to sign on to a complaint based on that in a federal court. Federal judges are able to void patents owned by parties to lawsuits before them. They have to have a reason, but you can bet they would love to do that to someone that is suing someone for not using their patent.

9:25 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



So when do the click credits come in for those that opted in?
10:07 pm on Aug 18, 2006 (gmt 0)



Today I got a class-action settlement notice for a Yahoo case involving GoTo.com clicks that I bought back in 1998 or 1999, so I don't think the wheels of justice are running at high RPM.
 

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