Google Urges Judge To Send Edible Arrangements' Suit To Arbitration

Edible Arrangements' lawsuit against Google should be sent to arbitration, Google says in new court papers.

The search company argues that Edible Arrangements, itself an advertiser, agreed that any disputes with Google related to its ad programs would be resolved by an arbitrator.

"Edible Arrangements cannot demonstrate any contract defenses that would permit avoidance of the arbitration agreement," Google contends in papers filed Monday in the U.S. District Court for Connecticut.

The legal battle between Google and Edible Arrangements dates to February, when the gift basket company alleged in a lawsuit that Google dupes consumers who search for Edible Arrangements by showing them ads for competitors.

The complaint centers on product listing ads that appear on the right-hand side of the search results pages and include small graphic images. A link above the ads takes people to a Google Shopping page.

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Edible Arrangements alleged in its complaint that users who search for "Edible Arrangements" are taken to 'product listing advertisements' that feature ads for competitors.

"Google thus misleads consumers into making a 'connection' between Edible Arrangements and these competitors’ products," the company said in its lawsuit. Edible Arrangements added that it has received "numerous" phone calls from customers who mistakenly placed orders with competitors after using Google.

Google says in its new court papers that Edible Arrangements agreed to arbitration when it accepted Google's terms and conditions.

"Google’s Terms And Conditions conspicuously and prominently disclose the arbitration provision, and its terms are reasonable," Google argues. "They even provide an option to opt-out of the provision, which Edible Arrangements did not invoke."

Alternatively, Google says the case should be transferred to the Northern District of California. The company argues that its contract with advertisers provides that disputes that don't go to an arbitrator will be litigated in federal or state courts of Santa Clara, California.

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