ACCC fights back in Google case

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ACCC fights back in Google case

Appeals against rejected Federal Court claim.

The ACCC has launched an appeal against a Federal Court decision which cleared Google of deceptive conduct over advertising in its search results.

The consumer watchdog claimed last month that Google was misleading customers by returning advertisements for one company when a search engine query for its competitor was entered.

The claims were dismissed by Justice Nicholas of the Federal Court, who ruled that despite several advertisements being misleading or deceptive, Google itself had not made those representations and had therefore not breached the Trade Practices Act.

The ACCC today announced it would appeal the ruling. It will argue that Google’s key word insertion system, plus the role of Google staff, were fundamental to the representations being made.

“The ACCC considers that the Full Court may find that Google made the representations in question and find Google directly responsible for the publication,” the ACCC said in a statement.

Chairman Rod Sims said the role of search engine providers needs to be closely examined in the online age.

“It is important that they are held directly accountable for misleading or deceptive paid search results when they have been closely engaged in presenting and publishing those results.”

“It is very important that the law in this area is clarified and fully understood,” Mr Sims said.

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