Google has denied it mislead consumers by hosting ads containing competitor’s names before Australia’s High court.
Between 2006 and 2008, Google published four ads that contained competitor’s names as keywords. As a result, a search for Harvey World Travel generated STA travel in the search results.
In addition, the SMH reports advertisers CarSales, Ausdog and the Trading Post respectively referenced competitors Honda.com.au, Alpha Dog Training and Just 4×4’s magazine.
In April, the Full Federal Court deemed this practice deceptive on the grounds a Googler would struggle to distinguish organic search results from paid advertisement. It ordered Google to implement a consumer compliance program after it concluded Google’s conduct was in violation of the Trade Practices Act.
Google is asking the High Court to overturn the decision which deemed them responsible for the ads, even though they were created by third parties.
The High Court is not expected to release a ruling for a few months.