Google may face 'click fraud' suit

John Thys still has not figured out how much his company has paid Google for bogus sales referrals caused by "click fraud," a sham aimed at a perceived weakness in the Internet search leader's lucrative advertising network, a report from Associated Press said.

The report, however, quoted Thys, a director of Internet marketing for Radiators.com, as saying that he had uncovered enough of it to conclude that Google was trying to shortchange his company and thousands of other advertisers by offering refunds totaling $60 million to settle a lawsuit.

The report said Google also expected to pay $30 million to the lawyers who settled the case on behalf of advertisers, raising the settlement's total value to as high as $90 million, the report said.

An Arkansas judge was expected to consider the proposed class-action settlement in late July, the report said.

The refunds, which would be provided in the form of advertising credits, were meant to compensate Google's customers for undetected click fraud, which contributed to the $13.3-billion in ad revenue that had poured into the company since 2001.

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