Google To Appeal “Misleading” Ruling
The High Court granted Google special leave on Friday to appeal a Federal Court decision that it engaged in ‘misleading and deceptive conduct’ on its search results between March 2006 – July 2007 last.
The allaeged offence was related to the publishing of sponsored links on Google’s search engine for Harvey World Travel, Honda, Just 4X4 Magazine and Alpha Dog, which appeared to make it difficult for consumers to differentiate between sponsored links and search results.
On 3 April, the Federal Court ruled Google had engaged in conduct that was “misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead or deceive by publishing, or causing to be published” the four ads in question.
In many cases the offending ads also redirected consumers to other websites, it is alleged.
Read: You’re Guilty, Google! Ads “Deceptive” Says Judge
A three Judge panel also ruled Google contravened section 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974.
However, Google is now set to appeal these findings in the High Court.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission took Google to task over the ads in a court battle that has been ongoing for several years.
Google originally won the case, but the ACCC later appealed the ruling.
The Australian consumer watchdog, ACCC, says it “looks forward to the High Court considering the issue of the role and responsibility of search engine providers in online search advertising.”
But this is not the only tech giant the consumer watchdog has been coming down hard on of late.
Last week, it won a case against Apple over false iPad + 4G advertising, forcing the giant to cough up over $2.2 million in fines.