Google Sued for Deceiving Statements
In early February, the High Court of Australia handed down its decision in Google Incorporated v the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The matter that was being determined by the court was whether or not Google could be held to have made a misleading or deceptive statement in the publishing of “Sponsored Links” on its search pages.
In its decision (which ironically does not appear on the first page of the search results on Google’s search engine), the Court determined that in the absence of express support for the statement, Google could not be held legally liable for any faults or misleading statements which were made by advertisers as the advertisers themselves were the ones who created the Advertisement.
Legal commentators are of two minds as to the importance of this decision.
On the one hand, it is a much needed clarification as to the law and its applicability as to expanding internet markets. For example, the act of re-tweeting an advertiser’s tweet could also be seen in the same light. It was not clear up until now as to whether such a cause would be approved by the court or if a more traditional approach would be affirmed.
On the other hand, commentators say that to unnecessarily narrow the legal definition as the High Court has done creates uncertainty as to what constitutes support for a statement and further throws the scope of the laws (and its applicability to future internet markets) into doubt.
If you are concerned about any statements your business is making that may be treated as misleading or deceptive conduct under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) – Please ring us on 1300 428 947 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org