The law firm of Susman Godfey LLP said Friday it had received preliminary approval of a proposed $20 million class action settlement filed on behalf of AdWords advertisers who were allegedly tricked by Google into paying for ads they didn’t intend to buy.Â This news comes from a Sacramento Business Journal article.
The class action lawsuit is pending in the Federal District Court of the Northern District of California, San Jose Division. Final approval of the settlement will be considered on Sept. 14.
As any AdWords user knows, Google charges advertisers when users “click” on one of their ads.Â When the advertiser creates an ad, he or she tells Google the maximum they are willing to pay per click.Â But according to lawyers for the class, advertisers can find themselves paying for ads they didn’t intend to buy.Â According to Susman Godfrey:
“During this process, users encounter two adjacent boxes. Into the first, customers enter the amount they wish to pay per click of an ad displayed on Google.com. The second box is marked ‘optional.’ Into this box, a user can enter the amount they would be willing to pay per click of an ad appearing on a third-party Web page. But leaving the box blank does not prevent ads from appearing on third-party sites,” the law firm said.
Google “places the ads on third-party sites anyway. And users are automatically charged per click based on the amount they entered into the first box. This suit arises from the fact that both actions occur without the user being informed,” the firm added.