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Google settles 'click fraud' lawsuit for $90M

[JURIST] Google [corporate website] has agreed to pay up to $90M to settle a class action lawsuit [PDF complaint] filed last year in Arkansas state court, alleging that Google and other online search engine companies overcharged for pay-per-click advertising, in which advertisers pay a fee every time an internet user clicks on their ads. "Click fraud" occurs when fraudulent users click repeatedly, with no intention of buying. Motives for malicious clicking vary, but the result is increased cost to companies for unproductive Web traffic.

The Google agreement [press release], once approved by the court, will cover all advertisers who claim to have been charged but not reimbursed for invalid clicks dating back to 2002 through the date of settlement. Google maintains that the level of "click fraud" is very small; the settlement, less than one percent of Google's revenue over the last four years, supports the claim. Yahoo, Inc., also named in the suit, does not intend to settle. AP has more.

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