SAN JOSE – Google recently filed a motion of removal to have a class-action lawsuit against Google regarding its AdSense program moved from Santa Clara Superior Court to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division.
Google filed the motion July 12 in the lawsuit brought by Tech Eyes Inc., a California-based business, claiming that Google violated California's Civil Rights Act "engaging in unlawful occupational discrimination," via Google's services agreement. The company, along with more than 100 other plaintiffs, are seeking at least $5 million in damages.
The AdSense program pairs advertisements to third-party websites under its agreement. However, companies like Tech Eyes had ad services suspended over what Google said were changes to the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA) of 2005.
The amendments to CAFA affected "any website, any products that were designed to injure an opponent in sport, self-defense or combat such as knives, crossbows or guns or which comprised any part or component necessary to the function of a gun or which were intended for attachment to a gun." Tech Eyes, sold crossbows, knives, and telescopic sights intended to mount on guns using Google.
Google claims that Tech Eyes was informed of advertising policy changes in August 2014 that, according to the suit, would, "prohibit, inter alia, GBE customers from hyperlinking to any web page which advertised the sale or service of any part or component necessary to the function of a gun or intended for attachment to a gun … products designed to injure an opponent in sport, self-defense or combat.” Advertising for Tech Eyes was then suspended. In February 2015, the lawsuit says, Google rescinded its prior suspension after learning that Tech Eyes had removed "all offers to sell or service knives and crossbows from the relevant website." But the advertisement for the site was again suspended by Google after they learned that the company continued to advertise the sale of telescopic sights.
Tech Eyes, however, argued that they were being unfairly suspended after discovering that other companies such as Amazon and Walmart offered," inter alia, both knives and guns on their respective websites but that neither of them had ever had the GBE (Google Business Establishment) Advertising Services suspended by GBE."
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