Google Click Fraud Settlement Questioned

    June 6, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

An attorney for plaintiffs in a California click fraud case against Google has submitted a lengthy list of complaints about Google’s Arkansas settlement to the search engine and asked that they meet about problems perceived with that settlement.

Brian Kabateck of Kabateck Brown Kellner has not received a response to a letter he submitted to his Google counterparts about the proposed settlement in the Lane’s Gifts v Google case. That settlement will come up for a final fairness hearing soon before the Arkansas judge, and right now, Kabateck doesn’t think it’s very fair.

The letter invited Google and their counsel to meet with Kabateck and other attorneys in the presence of a mediator to discuss “the many serious and substantive objections” they have to the $90 million settlement.

Those objections include how no cash will be paid to members of the class; offering less than one half a cent in advertising credit for each dollar of a valid click fraud claim; allowing Google to be the sole arbiter of what constitutes a valid click fraud claim; and only sending settlement terms by email and not following it up with a postal mail notice.

“It’s amazing that the class attorneys are getting $30 million yet they can’t seem to afford to send notification by regular mail–especially when Google has an accounting of names and mailing addresses of click advertisers,” said Kabateck. “Many potential victims are not going to receive the settlement notification.”

Kabateck also said in his letter to Google’s counsel that Google has refused to respond to existing clients’ click fraud claims. Those claims, even if they were made within a 60-day window they normally have to dispute clicks with Google, are being referred to the settlement.

However, Kabateck contends these existing clients should be entitled to the usual 100 percent reimbursement of a click fraud claim instead of the limited reimbursement of the settlement’s terms.

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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.