CLAW 1001 Case Study

Topics: Google, Advertising, Web search engine Pages: 3 (1888 words) Published: October 21, 2014

Introduction. In the appeal case of Google Inc v Australian Competition and Consumer Commission [ 2013] HCA 1 (6 February 2013)the High Court ruled unanimously in favour of Google and held that the company had not engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct contrary to s 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) (The Act). This saga between ACCC and Google Inc started in 2007 with the ACCC initating proceedings in the Federal Court to seek relief for Google contriving section 52 of the Trade Practices Act the primary judge (Nicholas J) dismissed this. On Appeal to the Full Federal Court their (Keane CJ, Jacobson and Lander JJ) allowed the ACCC's appeal, and made declarations to the effect that Google had contravened s 52 of the Act by publishing the search results. This Case has since been taken to the High Court where the primary issues relating to whether Google could be held liable for the organic/adverise results and how google acted as mere conduict. {2} The ongoing saga has been stretched over a 5/6 year period and the final result in favour of Google Inc could have easily swayed in favour of the ACCC due to the previous appeal decisions in lower courts. The social policy implications for what this will mean for future search engines and the future of other online advertsing as technology delevelops and how it will stand agains this ruling and act. Facts

Litigations started back in 2007 with the ACCC claiming that Google had contravened the s54 of the trade practices Act by showing sponsored links on searches that conveyed misleading and deceptive representations. Google displayed the sponsored links to the websites of STA Travel, Carsales, Trading Post and Ausdog in response to searches for their competitors business. In the case, searches studied from 2005 to 2008 dealing with the above mentioned companies found that when using Google’s “Adwords Progam” {31} advertisers can elect to trigger a sponsored link and use words, phrases etc to trigger...
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