Google settles dead website ad claims for $22.5 million

Posted on: March 20th, 2017 by Steve Larson

According to a motion for preliminary approval, Google Inc. has agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of advertisers who claim the tech giant placed their purchased ads on unused or inactive websites. The lawsuit was filed in 2008.

The complaint alleged that Google violated California’s unfair competition law and false advertising law by failing to disclose to millions of advertisers participating in Google’s AdWords program that it placed their ads on so-called parked domains — basically, websites without developed content — or error pages between July 11, 2004, and March 13, 2008, causing the advertisers to overpay.

The Ninth Circuit had reversed the lower court’s denial of a motion for class certification in September 2015. The proposed settlement class comprises about 2.3 million members.

The case is In re: Google AdWords Litigation, case number 5:08-cv-03369, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.