Friday, August 27, 2010

In re Facebook Ppc Adver. Litig.

I was thinking of making a fan page for NDCal Blog on Facebook. People could express post interesting cases or articles on the wall, have lively discussions on the chat board and click on ads for random third parties on the far right hand side of the screen. Those third party ads are the subject of this case.

Facebook bills for ads in two ways: 1) a sum of money per one thousand views of the ad or 2) a sum of money per click on the ad. The plaintiffs in this case claim that they were charged for clicks which did not load the desired page or fraudulent clicks which were used to simply drive up costs. Facebook replies that they should be thrown out of court because there is a disclaimer prohibiting the site for liability resulting from fraudulent or improper third party clicks.

However, the court found that there are a group of clicks that could be neither fraudulent nor improper, but still should not be billed (such as when the ad does not load) which can be the subject of a lawsuit.

Judge Jeremy Fogel granted the motion to dismiss with respect to the fraudulent clicks claim (which was waived by the disclaimer) and the fraud sounding parts of the California Unfair Competition Law (UCL) which require more specific pleading.

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