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Google Legal: Lawsuit Over Parked Domains Ads Dropped; Korean FTC Accuse of “Obstructing” Antitrust Investigation; Google Admits Profiting from Illegal AdWords Ads

Gooogle gets reprive from Class Action Suit over Parked domains adsIn the legal news of about Google, on Thursday, January 5th, U.S. District Judge Edward Davila turned down the class action suit brought against Google in 2008 over quality of ads showing on parked or error message web pages has been thrown out by the court.

He said he would not allow the suit because “it was more appropriate for companies who had bought the ads to show any alleged harm on an individual basis,” paidContent reports.

The case, which was filed in 2008, said Google’s ad-selling practices were unfair and deceptive under California law. The ads in question were those which appeared on “parked domains” which are registered but undeveloped websites, and on placeholder pages that appeared instead of error messages.

Here is the court ruling document:

British Broadcasting Company (BBC) investigation is reporting that Google is profiting from ads for illegal products generated by its flagship automated advertising system, the BBC has found.

Ads for illegal Olympic ticket resellers, ads for cannabis, and ads for fake identification cards and UK passports — all illegal, could all up be found on Google.co.uk, BBC reported.

Though, Google removed the ads after the BBC brought them to the company’s attention. And, also Google has taken down links to illegal Olympic ticket resellers following requests from the police. But the search giant told 5 live Investigates that the company keeps any money it might make from companies advertising illegal services before such adverts are removed.

Selling tickets on the open market without permission from the Olympic authorities is a criminal offence in the UK under the London Olympic and Paralympic Games Act 2006.

“It was a sponsored ad at the top of the page, so we presumed it was a trusted official site,” the victim told the BBC, “and we spent £750 on two tickets for my mum and dad to see the 1500m, which is what my dad really wanted.”

The story is familiar to Google’s recently $500 million penalty to the U.S. Department of Justice to settle charges it knowingly accepted ads from Canadian pharmacies illegally selling to American customers. The company admitted wrongdoing and agreed to government monitoring to ensure it wouldn’t happen again. Back in 2007, Google paid $3 million in a similar case involving illegal gambling ads, in which Yahoo and Microsoft paid even more significant penalties.

Finally, Google could face the “maximum potential penalty” for allegedly obstructing a Korean investigation of its business practices, the head of the Korean Fair Trade Commission told that country’s fourth-largest newspaper.

According to CNet report, “Korean officials “raided” Google’s Seoul offices last Fall in connection with an investigation into whether Google was acting in an anti-competitive way toward home-grown Korean search/portal sites on Android devices. (It wasn’t the first time for such a “raid” of Google’s offices in Korea.)”

CNet reporting that Google denies that its employees deleted documents or that it instructed them to work from home in order to impede the investigation. The company also notes that it has not been informed that the commission is considering fines.

“We will, of course, continue cooperating with this and other government inquiries,” said Google spokesman Adam Kovacevich.

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