by CIO Staff

Antitrust Complaint Against Google Dismissed

News
Jul 14, 20062 mins
Internet

Google on Thursday won itself a small victory when Judge Jeremy Fogel of the U.S. District Court of Northern California, San Jose, dismissed a complaint filed by parental information website Kinderstart, a Google advertising customer, which charged the search giant with participating in corrupt and monopolistic business practices, Reuters reports via WashingtonPost.com.

Judge Fogel granted Google’s request that the case be dismissed, but said Kinderstart could restate the case if it so desired, according to Reuters.

Fogel wrote in his decision, “The court concludes that Kinderstart has failed to allege any conduct on the part of Google that significantly threatens or harms competition,” Reuters reports.

In March, Norwalk, Calif.-based Kinderstart filed a lawsuit against Google after the search firm modified its method for ranking websites and advertisers, according to Reuters. Kinderstart said in court filings that it then received a “zero” ranking from Google, resulting in a 70 percent decrease in site traffic in 2005, Reuters reports.

Google considers the algorithm to determine a site’s rank a trade secret, and it has done everything it can to keep its methods under wraps. The company says it’s essential that such information remain confidential to ward off manipulation and exploitation of its site by corrupt advertisers, according to Reuters.

Google did not immediately provide Reuters with a comment on the subject.

Though the court ruled that all nine counts within Kinderstart’s complaint were not enough to bring the case to trial, lawyers for the company said it will file another suit, with the appropriate amendments, before the next scheduled court date on Sept. 29, Reuters reports.

“Not a single count was dismissed with prejudice by the judge. Now, plaintiffs have the full opportunity to amend all nine counts in the class-action complaint,” Kinderstart’s lawyers said in a statement, according to Reuters.

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