Claiming that Google’s sponsored links are not clearly distinguished from organic listings, the ACCC brought a case against the search giant (a world first) in July alleging misleading and deceptive conduct.
Apparently, however, the ACCC prepared the court documents poorly, and were not able to convince the judge that there was a case at all. Though a decision has not been made (the ACCC have been given time to clarify the case and summarise the allegations), it is not looking too hopeful for the Australian watchdog commission.
When this case was first announced in July, Google remained confident that there had been no deception on their part, and some critics warned that the ACCC would get bitten on this.
The message is clear: If you want to take on Google, you had better have a really good case, because that goliath doesn’t look like it’s falling any time soon…
We’ll keep an eye on what happens next month, when the case returns to court.
Jordan’s Update: For a deeper look into the ACCC’s arguments, see our coverage here.