Bloomberg News

Facebook Wins Ruling on Class Action in Advertiser Suit

April 13, 2012

Facebook Inc. (FB:US), the world’s largest social-networking website, won a court ruling denying cost-per- click advertisers the ability to sue as a group for alleged overcharges.

U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in Oakland, California, said in an order today that the advertisers hadn’t shown their claims have enough in common to justify certifying the lawsuit as a class action, or group, case.

Facebook was sued in 2009 over claims that advertisers, charged based on the number of clicks or views they receive, were wrongfully billed for non-existent, fraudulent or invalid clicks.

The plaintiffs are advertisers that contracted with Menlo Park, California-based Facebook through an automated self- service process available to the general public. They sought to represent all cost-per-click advertisers that paid money to Facebook from May 2009 to the present.

Class certification allows plaintiffs’ lawyers to work together, giving them more leverage to gain a settlement or victory at trial.

Larry Yu, a Facebook spokesman, and Rosemary Rivas, an attorney for the plaintiffs, didn’t immediately return voice- mail messages seeking comment on the ruling.

The case is In Re Facebook PPC Advertising Litigation, 09- 3043, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Oakland).

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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