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Google to pay $90 million to settle suit

Google will pay up to $90 million to settle claims that it billed advertisers for ads that were subjected to "click fraud".

india Updated: Mar 10, 2006 13:14 IST

Google will pay up to $90 million to settle claims that it billed advertisers for ads that were subjected to "click fraud", said the Internet search company.

The lawsuit filed last year against Google and other search engines threw a spotlight on the ruse in which repeated clicking on "pay-per-click" ads generated false sales leads, driving up costs for advertisers while increasing revenues for websites.

Unscrupulous competitors are also believed to use "click fraud", which Google chief executive Eric Schmidt recently described as "the biggest threat" to the Internet economy.

To settle the claim by retailer "Lane's Gifts and Collectibles" and other plaintiffs, Google said Thursday that it would offer advertising credits worth up to $90 million in return for clicks that are suspected to be fraudulent.

The website Yahoo, which was also sued, said it would continue to contest the lawsuit and expressed confidence in its "proprietary click protection" to combat fraud.

In its first five quarters as a public company, Google has reported more than $7 billion in revenue, 95 pe rcent of which comes from "pay-per-click ads".