Judge gives final approval to Google click fraud lawsuit

An Arkansas judge has given final approval to a $90 million settlement that Google reached to settle a click-fraud lawsuit.

In the ruling, the judge rejects claims by opposing attorneys that the amount was not adequate compensation for advertisers who have been charged for fraudulent clicks on online ads.

"We're pleased Judge Griffin has affirmed the settlement as appropriate and fair to advertisers," said Nicole Wong, associate general counsel at Google. "We look forward to continuing to manage invalid clicks effectively and provide our advertisers with an outstanding return on their investment."

Attorneys for the original plaintiffs and those who sued to block the settlement did not return calls seeking comment.

Both Caulfield Investigations and Lane's Gifts and Collectibles sued Google and other search engines in February 2005 in state court in Texarkana, Ark., accusing them of charging advertisers for ad clicks that were fraudulent or done in bad faith and not with the intention of legitimate commerce.

Google reached a settlement with the plaintiffs in March that provides for $30 million for lawyer fees and $60 million in advertising credits for affected advertisers. The settlement does not apply to other defendants, such as Yahoo, Lycos, Miva, Go.com and LookSmart.

Meanwhile, a hearing in federal court in California was scheduled for Thursday on Yahoo's $5 million settlement in a separate click-fraud lawsuit.

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