Click fraud lawsuits

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TEXT OF STORY

SCOTT JAGOW: These days, you can commit fraud just by clicking a mouse. Advertisers are upset with Google for not doing enough to stop click fraud. Today, a judge in Arkansas hears more about Google's offer to settle lawsuits over this. Janet Babin reports.


JANET BABIN: Click fraud happens when companies try to drive up the advertising costs of a rival by clicking on that company's ads, when they don't intend to buy anything. Advertisers only pay Google when their links are double-clicked.

Elinor Mills with CNETNews.com says part of the problem is that search engines are secretive about how they curb click fraud.

ELINOR MILLS:"They don't want to reveal too much of what goes on behind the scenes, because that will give up competitive information and help their rivals."

The company maintains that it uses sophisticated techniques to root out click abuses.

Advertisers have filed 51 objections since the settlement received preliminary approval in March. Judge Joe Griffin is considering whether to modify the agreement.

I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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