Companies can use trademarks as Google keywords

People wait at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Google and Verizon have reportedly reached a deal over how Verizon can manage the traffic that travels over its wires and cell phones -- traffic that includes Google's YouTube videos. We might hear details today. Meanwhile, Google is also involved in another interesting story. In the U.S., you can type a brand name into a Google search and get ads from a whole bunch of companies other than the ones that sell that brand. That practice has been illegal in Europe -- until now, as Christopher Werth reports from London.


Christopher Werth: Google will now allow advertisers to use other companies' trademarks as registered keywords in their ads. The changes come after a European court ruling said that Google is not infringing on those trademarks when it sells ads linked to them.

Ben Novick is a spokesperson for Google in London. He says in the past, if you typed a Google search for a particular airline or brand of television in, say, Paris, you were only likely to see ads from that one company.

Ben Novick: Moving forward, a user might see multiple ads not just from the particular brand that they've typed into search box, but from resellers, review sites, informational sites, as well as potentially competitors as well.

Google says this means users benefit from seeing a wider variety of ads that might be relevant to what they're looking for. Ad sales make up 95 percent of the company's sales, and now Google's users in Europe can expect to see a lot more ads from different types of companies vying for their attention.

In London, I'm Christopher Werth for Marketplace.

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