Jurisdiction - Australia
Australia – Google’s “Sponsored Links” Are Not Misleading.

20 March, 2012


Legal News & Analysis – Asia Pacific – Australia – TMT


On 6 February 2013, the High Court of Australia upheld an appeal by Google Inc from a decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court.  The Full Court had previously found that Google had engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct, in contravention of section 52 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth), by permitting "sponsored links" created at the direction of advertisers.  Advertisers would pay Google to display advertising text, directing users to the advertiser's website, when users were carrying out search activities. 


The ACCC claimed that by displaying the sponsored link search results, Google had made it insufficiently clear that the sponsored links were advertisements. 


The High Court unanimously allowed the appeal, however, finding that Google was not the creator of the sponsored links that it published or displayed – ordinary and reasonable users of the Google search engine would understand that the representations conveyed by the sponsored links were those of the advertisers, and would not have concluded that Google adopted or endorsed the representations.


Click here to view the judgment



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