back to article Oz watchdog sticks to its Google-attacking guns

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has dropped its legal action against two Google subsidiaries, but the protector of the Aussie people vows to continue its fight against the search giant's Mountain View mother ship. With a federal court action aimed at the world's largest search engine and an online …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just curious

    but what part of the phrase "Sponsored Links", which appears on the sponsored links areas, causes problems to the land of Oz?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "the search engine cum world power"

    I'll not even bother making the obvious comment about this...

  3. Walter Brown

    Its not a matter of...

    I dont think this is so much a matter of Google misleading anyone, I think its more a case of the Aussie legal machine looking down the table at Google's plate and saying, thats a mighty tasty looking pie you have there, i think i shall have me a piece of that...

    Its sometimes called judicial extortion...

    my answer would be, close up shop... they want to steal our money, we'll move the bank out of their lands...

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    AFAIK, in Australia an advertisement must be marked as "Advertisement", if there is any doubt. "Sponsored Link" is deemed ambiguous and is not enough.

    You see this in magazines with those "advertorials" which are designed to look like a magazine article, but which are, of course, paid for ads. They all have the word "Advertisement" at either the top of bottom of the page,on it's own, usually in capitals, and at at least the same point size as the main body text.

    It seems to me that if all Google needs to do is change a few obvious wording differences on the site, then they should just do it rather than fighting pointless legal battles.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This explains it

    Here I was so confused when I kept finding the best deals for Kimi Raikkonen on eBay when doing google searches... thank goodness Australia is here to clear things up.

    Maybe I should have been searching for Mark Webber instead...

  6. Mark Silver badge


    How exactly would they plan on enforcing any judgement? I mean, Australian competition commission going after Google Ireland? Jurisdictional limitation anyone? Google Inc must have been in a good mood as, if it were me, I'd have used that great business term "go f*ck yourself"

  7. Aubry Thonon

    I'm an Australian...

    ... so I feel qualified to make two comment wrt the ACCC:

    1) The bit about the advertising being mistaken for the rest of the listing is pure bullshit. Not only is it maked "sponsored" (which part of "sponsored" do you not get? You hear it often enough wrt sporting events) but the background is also of a different colour! What kind of idiotic (rhymes with Mazy Lorons) gets confused about this?

    2) On the other hand, I agree that since one of the reason for registering a business in Australia is that you automatically get a Trademark on the business name, Google has no right to sell these as keywords. Period. You may be able to sell (for example) the words "American" and "Airline", but not the phrase "American Airline" and certainly not (again, for example) "Quantas".

  8. Craig Foster


    Australia isn't doing it for the money... it's a government body - sheesh.

    This is more about the fact that Australians are so sick of unlabelled advertisements presented as articles, presenters opinion, or paid-for "interviews" and therefore should be labelled properly. There's even a government provided "Do Not Call" list for cold-call sales.

    Personally, I think this legal action is a bit of a stretch, but it's definitely not for any monetary reward

  9. Kevin


    Actually, there's no problem selling the word "Quantas" since there is no such company or trademark. QANTAS on the other hand would be a different issue. It's an acronym. The "u after q" rule doesn't apply to non-words :-)

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Walter Brown

    @Craig Foster

    Apparently you have some misconception that government bodies actually generate revenue through some means other than taxes, fines, surcharges and other popular methods of siphoning funds from the people and businesses within their borders. if you dont think this is about the money, maybe you should take civics class or 2...

    its easy to follow in the news...

    Uncle George needs a new aircraft carrier, microsoft gets fines us$500m

    the European Union needs to pay for Galileo, Microsoft gets fined us$600m.

    the Aussies likely have a big ticket item in the works with a bill soon to come due, Google looks like a good target, deep pockets, not hit too often by government charity requests err i mean sanction...

  12. Walter Brown

    A simple solution...

    Use Firefox, along with the Customize Google and Ad Block Plus add-ons and soon you too will become confused as too what the fuck these articles are even about... it takes no time at all to forget that Google even injects adds in to search result, with the above mentioned combination of browser / add-ons you dont see the type of bullshit being complained about by every need a donation do gooder, all you see in search results, period, nothing more.

  13. ben edwards

    QANTAS is a word!

    QANTAS is a word...well, at the very least its an acronym. As just an example to demonstrate the difference; I'd consider KRAFT to be a nonword, since its just 'craft' changed to follow the trademark laws of the relevant land (USA?). As far as I know, XEROX is a nonword too. But hands off our Qantas! ;)







  14. TeeCee Gold badge


    "Our focus is on delivering relevant information to Australian users and helping Australian businesses enjoy the benefits of search marketing."

    Odd that, I thought that it was on making shed-loads of cash from advertising and suckering users into clicking on the most lucrative adverts.

    Wrong again, oh well........

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ....Then see how many people down under switch to

    Yeah, and how long till its like here in the UK when we try going to, just to be kicked to

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