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ACCC wins appeal against Google for misleading advertisements posing as search results

 |  April 3, 2012

The Full Federal Court has upheld the ACCC’s appeal against Google in a misleading advertisement case. The advertisements at issue were designed to look like search results. The results took the form of a business name, product name, or web address of a competitor’s business. That business was unrelated to the advertiser, yet when a user clicked on what appeared to be a link to the competitor, they were taken to the advertiser’s website.

In October 2011, the ACCC appealed from the decision of Federal Court Justice Nicholas, on the basis that he erred in finding that Google did not “make” the representations in the four advertisements at issue. Justice Nicholas had found that Google had only “communicated” what the advertiser made.

The Full Federal Court found that Google’s role in publishing the advertisements amounted to misleading or deceptive conduct, in violation of section 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974. The Court explains, “It is Google’s technology which creates that which is displayed. Google did not merely repeat or pass on a statement by the advertiser.”

Full content: ACCC Press Release


Related contentKeywords: Google, European Commission. Anyone Feeling Lucky? (Lia Vitzilaiou, Lambadarios Law Offices)