The ACCC’s claim Google’s paid-ads broke Australia’s Trade Practices Act was rejected by the Sydney Federal Court today, according to a Bloomberg report.
The case, which is seen as the first of its kind against Google, was dismissed in Sydney Federal Court by Justice Antony Nicholas.
When online surfers searched for the Trading Post, a site where people can buy or sell vehicles, they were also offered the advertising links to Kloster Ford and Charlestown Toyota, competitors of the Trading Post the ACCC said.
“I am satisfied that Google did not know and had no reason to suspect that the publication of the Kloster Ford advertisement or the Charlestown Toyota advertisement would amount to a contravention” of the Trades Practices Act Nicholas wrote in his ruling, which spanned 106 pages.
In an e-mail statement, Google maintained its belief that advertising should be of benefit to both advertisers and users.
However, Justice Nicholas found the Trading Post was in violation of the Act as it implied affiliation with car dealerships, and ordered the ACCC legal payments to be covered, amounting to $28,000 (US$28,070).
A current search of the Trading Post does not generate the infringing dealership links.