Australian court finds Google guilty of misleading consumers

An Australian court on Tuesday ruled that Google engaged in “misleading and deceptive” advertising practices, Reuters reported. The court said that between March 2006 and July 2007, Google published search results for queries related to Honda Australia with paid advertisements for Honda competitor CarSales. The advertisements led users to believes that CarSales was linked to Honda Australia. The search giant argued that it was not responsible for misleading search results since it was merely a conduit for advertisers. The court disagreed, however, and ordered Google to set up a compliance program that will ensure paid advertisements will not mislead consumers. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission praised the ruling, saying that Google and other Internet search engines will now be held responsible for “deceptive paid search results.”

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