LinkedIn Urges Court To Reject Bid To Reinstate Lawsuit Over Metrics Errors

LinkedIn is urging federal appellate court to reject two advertisers' request to reinstate a class-action complaint over errors in advertising metrics.

In papers filed this week with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the company says that upon discovering the errors, it “immediately took steps to correct the errors, notify advertisers, and issue makegoods to all potentially affected advertisers that in most instances exceeded the amount of any possible overcharge.”

LinkedIn says the appeals court should uphold U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan van Keulen's decision to dismiss the lawsuit, brought in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by tech company TopDevz and recruiting platform Noirefy.

They filed suit in November of 2020, shortly after LinkedIn said it discovered two measurement issues may have over-reported some Sponsored Content campaign metrics regarding impressions and video views. LinkedIn said it discovered the glitch in August of 2020 and fixed it by November; the erroneous metrics potentially affected more than 418,000 customers.

LinkedIn said it credited the accounts of affected advertisers, but TopDevz and Noirefy argued that the inflated metrics led them to purchase more ads, and pay higher prices for them.

The advertisers' complaint included claims that LinkedIn violated California's consumer protection law, which prohibits unfair business practices, as well as the state's false advertising law.

van Keulen dismissed the case last year, ruling that private companies can only sue for unfair business practices or false advertising when monetary damages alone won't remedy the alleged violation.

TopDevz and Noirefy argued to van Keulen that monetary damages weren't sufficient, noting that they sought an injunction that would have required LinkedIn to undergo audits.

van Keulen rejected that argument, ruling that the allegations in the complaint, even if proven true, wouldn't show that LinkedIn should be subject to an injunction. She added that LinkedIn's move to quickly correct the metrics undercut the advertisers' argument for an injunction. 

TopDevz and Noirefy recently asked the 9th Circuit to reinstate their claims. Among other arguments, the companies essentially say they should have been able to prove that they were entitled to an injunction.

LinkedIn this week urged the appellate court to reject that contention. The company argues that argues the advertisers' claims center on the theory that they lost money as a result of the metrics errors. Those types of losses could be remedied with monetary damages, LinkedIn argues.

TopDevz and Noirefy are expected to file a response with the 9th Circuit next month.

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