Google has a first amendment right to reject ads, a Delaware federal court ruled last week.
The decision to dismiss several complaints against Google, Microsoft and Yahoo reaffirms that search engines have an “editorial right” to reject any advertisements it finds objectionable. Furthermore, since search engines are not state entities, they do not impinge upon wouldbe customers rights by rejecting said ads.
Langdon sued all three companies last year when, allegedly, Google rejected his ads because they attacked people, MSN ignored his ad request, and Yahoo said it would only take ads from sites it hosts. Langdon, like several individual litigants seeking to get a quick buck from Google, filed pro se, meaning he waived his right to attorney. A precedent in a pro se case is sometimes considered less binding than a precedent in a case where attornies are present on both sides.
This decision could have the benefit, however, of dissuading future pro se complaints concerning ad decisions.
The court did not dismiss, however, Langdon’s breach of contract complaint against Google, which alleges that Google’s failure to act upon its AdSense contract caused damage to Langdon.