Google's $90 Million Answer For Click Fraud

By Ben Charny  |  Posted 2006-03-08

Google's agreed to settle a class action, click fraud lawsuit for around $90 million. Now it's upto the judge to approve the proposal.

To settle the case, Google wants to let any advertiser since 2002 bring a click fraud complaint. Usually, they only get 60 days to do so. Total reimbursements are not to exceed $90 million, and that includes attorneys costs and court fees, Google's proposing.

A spokesman for Ask, another defendant in the case, said he believes Ask is covered by Google's settlement. But it couldn't immediately be determined if the same applies to Yahoo Inc. and other defendants.

The suit was filed by Lane's Gifts & Collectibles, of Texarkana, Arkansas. It alleges Google, Yahoo and other major Internet interests conspired to overcharge advertisers because of click fraud.

Loosely defined, click fraud is when black-hatted spammers, marketers and others artificially inflate traffic to a Web page. Search engines benefit because the more traffic to a page, the more they get to charge for advertising.

News of the settlement is sure to stir up advertisers who say they've been overcharged. Defendants in the case may also be forced to settle as a result of Google's actions.

There's a lengthy explanation from Google   here.

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