Pay-Per-Click Marketers Urge Supreme Court To Turn Away Google

A group of pay-per-click marketers are asking the Supreme Court to refuse to review a decision granting them class-action status in a long-running lawsuit against Google.

The marketers -- including law firm Pulaski & Middleman and retailer RK West -- allege that Google placed their ads on "low quality" sites.

Google argues the companies shouldn't be able to proceed as a class because any damages need to be calculated on a company-by-company basis. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled against Google on that point, prompting the company to ask the Supreme Court to hear the matter.

The marketers argue in a brief filed last week that they have proposed "a reliable, classwide method" of calculating the amount of money they believe they are owed.



They say they presented the lower courts with valid proposals for determining restitution. The 9th Circuit appeared to endorse at least one proposed method -- the "Smart Pricing" approach, which the appeals court described as "the difference between the amount the advertiser actually paid and the amount paid reduced by the Smart Pricing discount ratio."

The pay-per-click advertisers also argue that even if damages need to be calculated individually, they are still entitled to proceed as a class. "The Ninth Circuit’s decision in this case follows the general rule that individual damage calculations alone do not defeat predominance," the pay-per-click marketers argue.

The battle dates to 2009, when the marketers alleged that ads on Google's AdSense for Domains and AdSense for Errors programs result in fewer purchases than ads on Google's search results pages. Google has since revised its ad policies.

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