Posted April 1, 2009 5:12 pm by with 2 comments

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A lawsuit that was originally filed in Santa Clara in 2005 which claimed Google overcharged search marketers by charging over their google-logodaily spend limit was settled for about $20 million as reported by MediaPost.

The two plaintiffs in the case, printing company CLRB Hanson Industries of Minnesota and Howard Stern of New Jersey (not the shock jock) will receive $20,000 each. The class action suit is based on the claim that Google charged 120% of the daily budgeted amount on AdWords campaigns.

U.S. District Court Judge James Ware in San Jose had earlier ruled that only search marketers who advertised for fewer than 30 days could proceed with the lawsuit.

Google had argued in court papers that it sometimes charged up to 120% of marketers’ budgets, but only to make up for days when it under-delivered ads.

The other participants in the class action suit will receive AdWord credits. Good to see that everyone is getting something out this right? Well, not knowing any of the actual dollar amounts that these plaintiffs claimed the case seems pretty straight forward. That is until you see that the lawyers in the case will receive $5 million from Google.

So the wronged search marketers will divvy up $15 million in AdWords credits while the lawyers take away $5 mil in cash. Now I realize that there was probably a lot of hours spent on this deal and it is 4 years old but that is a lot of scratch. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be a lawyer. Kind of interesting though that it appears that only $40k in cash was paid to the actual people wronged while the rest will be dispensed in what are the equivalent of Google bucks. If I were one of those class action folks I’d be asking to show me the money.

Of course, Google is claiming no wrong doing and let’s face it, the actual cash outlay here is a mere pittance to them. A company spokesperson said: “Google believes the claims are without merit, but we are pleased to have the litigation behind us and to move forward with our business objectives.”

You know who else is relieved? Quite a few lawyers.