Remember a few weeks ago, those allegations of AdSense fraud leaked by a supposed former Google AdSense employee? I believed them to be fake and still do.
Well, now a lawsuit seeks class action status was filed on Tuesday based on the allegations in the story we reported before.
The suit relies in part on recent anonymous accusations that Google developed an AdSense fraud scheme in 2009 to prevent publishers from collecting money that Google owed them. AdSense is a major advertiser partner network for Google that accounts for about a quarter of Google's annual revenue. In 2013, Google earned $57.86 billion in revenue.
"Google's actions constitute breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, and violation of the California Unfair Competition Law," the filing with the US District Court for the Northern District of California states. The lawsuit is seeking class action status so that it can represent all US-based AdSense users whose accounts were disabled or terminated with their Google refusing to pay them their final payment.
The case was filed by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro on behalf of Free Range Content, the California-based owner of Repost.us, which had been using AdSense to display ads. Free Range Content alleges that it first noticed an unusual jump of $40,000 in its AdSense earnings this past February. The company says that it reported the anomaly to Google, and was scheduled to speak with an AdSense representative on March 6 when Google disabled their account two days before the call. Google, the suit alleges, refused further contact with Free Range Content.
Personally, not being a lawyer or anything, I think the suit will fail. But if it goes on, it will be very interesting to see what documents and numbers become public from this.
At WebmasterWorld, netmeg said the same thing:
Not sure I believe the suit will win, but it'll be interesting to see what if any information comes out of it.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.