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Australian Court Finds Google Guilty For Hosting Misleading Ads

The bods over at Google have had their hands slapped by an Australian court after they were found breaching trade law through hosting misleading ads, following the Federal Court upholding an appeal by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

Federal Court judges overturned a ruling last September whereby Google claimed to not be responsible for violating Australia's Trade Practices Act - declaring the search engine guilty for engaging in deceptive conduct when four ads that appeared on the Google Australia site used the names of its competitors as keywords in order to hijack traffic from rival brands.

One such example included results for CarSales, where despite containing ads giving the appearance of directing customers to the site, instead linked visitors to Honda Australia.

Discussing the CarSales-Honda example in judgement papers, Justices Jacobson and Lander and Chief Justice Keane stated that "by clicking on the headline to the advertisement, users of the website would be taken to the Honda Australia website and thereby engaged in conduct that was misleading or deceptive or likely to mislead."

Google has been told that it must "implement a compliance program" so as to prevent future abuses of its advertising facility, and has also been ordered to pay the ACCC's court costs.

Source: The Next Web (opens in new tab)

Mariel Norton is a self-confessed girly geek with a penchant for technology, and previously wrote for ITProPortal, with experience on TheNextWeb, UKFast, WorldRemit, Virgin Media, Google, and more.