A new lawsuit was filed this last Tuesday against Google, alleging that the company is engaging in fraudulent activity. Specifically, it suggests that Google is canceling AdSense accounts just before they were scheduled to receive a payment. According to Google’s terms of service, if an AdSense account gets suspended, the earnings are forfeited.
The case was brought about due to an anonymous accusation saying that Google has a scheme, which began in 2009, to prevent publishers from collecting on the money which they had earned through the AdSense program.
The suit is filed in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, and says, “Google’s actions constitue breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, unjust enrichment, violation of the California Unfair Competition Law.”
This suite is seeking class action status, which would allow it to represent all AdSense users in the US who had their accounts disabled or terminated, and Google refusing to pay their final payment.
This suit has been filed by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, on behalf of Free Range Content. Free Range Content is a California company that owns Repost.us, which was monetized using AdSense. They allege that they noticed a spike in earnings in February, where they saw their AdSense earn $40,000 more than expected. They contacted AdSense and set up a meeting to discuss it with them on March 6th, however Google disabled their account just two days prior to the scheduled call. Google has now refused to speak with them further.
After being banned like this, and hearing of the anonymous accusation of fraud by Google (The anonymous accusation of fraud within Google was covered last month here on PMI, and you can read that story HERE.) they decided to file the suit.
Google has not responded to requests for comments on the lawsuit, but did say that the anonymous fraud accusation was a “conspiracy-laden fake, from the typos to wrong terminology to untrue policies to the lack of specific names of people.”