Microsoft Joins the Click Fraud Lawsuit Club

August 28, 2008

Microsoft is
facing a lawsuit in Florida from an advertiser who claims he was billed for
invalid clicks. The lawsuit was filed
by Interactive Retail Management, Inc. who placed PPC ads for their online
business, allé Fine Jewelry, on the MSN Shopping Channel and shopping
network.

The retailer
claims that Microsoft charged for fraudulent clicks back in 2006, which
violates the Florida law regarding deceptive and unfair trade practices. The
retailer goes on to claim that Microsoft has “failed to
take appropriate measures to identify fraudulent clicks, to prevent click fraud
or to warn advertisers and potential advertisers about click fraud.”
Allé
Fine Jewelry estimates that 20% of clicks on their PPC ads are “generated by
some method other than a prospective consumer.”

A
Spokesperson for Microsoft noted that the ruling to allow the lawsuit in
Florida was not based on the merits of the claim. Microsoft plans to
“vigorously defend against this lawsuit.”

Click fraud
lawsuits are not uncommon; both Yahoo and Google have been dealing with these
lawsuits for years. This is the only known click fraud lawsuit against
Microsoft so it will be interesting to see how it is resolved. Both Google and
Yahoo have settled class-action click fraud suits in 2006.

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http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=89331