In July, 2008, Alphabet, Inc. (Google’s parent company) was sued in federal court by advertisers alleging violation of California fair advertising laws. According to the plaintiffs, Google mislead them regarding their paid AdWords, which the advertisers claimed were placed on “low quality” sites like parked domains and error pages with little to no internet traffic instead of “high quality” sites.
The case went through various stages, including a hard-fought battle over whether it would be certified as a class action. In September, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s denial of class certification and, last June, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Google’s appeal of that ruling.
In late February, 2017, the parties reached a settlement in which Google will establish a fund of $22.5 million for class members which includes “all persons or entities located in the United States who, from July 11, 2004 through March 31, 2008, had an AdWords account with Google and were charged for clicks on advertisements appearing on parked domains and/or error pages.”
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