Google Makes Final Pitch To Supreme Court Over Pay-Per-Click Class Action

Tech companies headquartered in Silicon Valley could find it harder to fight class action lawsuits on their home turf than elsewhere in the country, unless the Supreme Court agrees to review a recent decision in a lawsuit against Google.

That's according to Google, which this week made a final pitch for a Supreme Court hearing in a lawsuit brought by a group of pay-per-click marketers.

"Without this Court’s review, class actions will be easier to certify in the Ninth Circuit than anywhere else in the nation," Google says in papers filed with the Supreme Court this week.

The company adds that the marketers' class-action would have been "doomed" if they had brought the case in courts outside of the 9th Circuit's jurisdiction, like Philadelphia, Richmond, Chicago, or Miami. The 9th Circuit covers nine states, including tech hotbeds California and Washington.



The company wants the Supreme Court to review a decision that granted pay-per-click marketers class-action status in a long-running lawsuit. The marketers -- including law firm Pulaski & Middleman and retailer RK West -- allege that Google placed their ads on "low quality" sites.

Google says 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.

Among other arguments, Google says that the 9th Circuit's decision conflicts with decisions made by other appeals courts.

The marketers have asked the Supreme Court to reject the case. They said in a brief filed last month that they proposed a "reliable, classwide method" of calculating the amount of money they believe they are owed.

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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