Google’s proposed $90 million settlement of a lawsuit—filed by advertisers who claim they were charged for illegitimate clicks on links they paid to have displayed on the search engine’s pages—has been approved by Miller County, Arkansas Circuit Judge Joe Griffin, the Associated Press reports via the New York Post.
The plaintiffs in the suit charged Google with participating in “click fraud,” whereby a party that’s not interested in a product advertised online repeatedly clicks on the product’s link to make advertisers think more potential customers have gathered information on their products. Those advertisers are then charged for the total number of clicks on their ads, even though a large percentage of those clicks were falsely generated and never represented a potential buyer.
Judge Griffin said Google’s settlement was “fair, reasonable and adequate,” according to the AP.
Upward of 70 objections to the settlement were raised by Google advertisers, according to the AP, many of which were filed by small companies that said it was unfair because they could not afford the resources required to find out how many of the clicks on their ads were not legitimate.
Under the settlement, Google will hand over advertising credits worth $4.50 for every $1,000 spent on advertising during the past four and a half years, according to the AP. No cash will be paid to the plaintiffs; however, $30 million of the settlement will be passed on to attorneys.
A handful of plaintiffs on Monday stood before Griffin to express their dissatisfaction with the settlement, and they charged Google with failing to exercise “reasonable” care to stop click fraud and with misrepresenting its efforts to crack down on the problem.
The class-action suit was originally filed by Texarkana, Ark.-based Lane’s Gifts and Collectibles.
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