It’s the clash of the titans! CT-based Edible Arrangements launched a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Google. They claim that Google hurt their business because Google allowed rival ads to run in search results.
Wow, those JERKS!
The Hour reports that Wallingford-based Edible Arrangements accused Google of deliberately placing the rival ads, too. Because of that, they filed a federal lawsuit that seeks $209 million in damages.
If Edible Arrangements does prove Google placed the rival ads there on purpose, then more power to them. Considering businesses in this state struggle a bit harder than others, a minor setback could become a major problem.
In addition, Edible Arrangements said the rival ads created confusion for their prospective customers. The search engine allegedly placed rival company advertisements in pretty prominent locations. So, when people wanted to send chocolate covered fruits to their significant other, they saw other companies instead.
And, perhaps, those rival companies costed a little less than Edible Arrangements. So, in the spirit of saving money, customers utilized a different company to deliver a similar product.
Also, the company claims Google did all this to gain a meager $9 million in revenue, a pittance to what they allegedly lost.
Curious, I did a quick Google search to see my results. Surprisingly, first result was for a competing company. On top of that, Google enclosed photos of similar products, such as the iconic flower-cut melon slices.
So, yeah, believe the owner has full right to be upset about this. In fact, I googled the rival-advertisers and found that 100% of my hits matched what I put into the search engine.
So, what’s going on with Edible Arrangements? And, also, is this illegal?
Honestly, this falls into the dreaded gray area. If Google legally sold the ad space, then that runs into a whole different issue.
That issue being: do companies control their own search results or have the right of being the first search result? Or, more to the point, do companies have a say over or control what they customers see on their search results?
Chances are: probably not. That’s 100% Google’s territory.
I think everyone agrees that should definitely be the case. But, then again, just because it’s the right thing to do doen’t mean there’s a law prohibiting it.
So, does this mean Google legally offers rival companies to buy advertisements on their competitor’s search results? If so, then I think it’s a brilliant marketing strategy for them to generate more money.
Because I sure as heck would be petty and buy the #1 spot on my rival’s search results, too. A little taste of their own medicine.
So, that’s why Edible Arrangements added the symbolic $9 million into their $200 million lawsuit. If the company truly suffered $200 in damages, then their loss completely outweighs Google’s gain.
In short, Google only works to their benefit and screws over those they deem fit because money’s involved. (Cue high schoolers on Tumblr shouting “Death to Capitalism!”)
As of late, Google still refused to respond to the federal lawsuit. But, I sure am really looking forward to what they have to say about the mess they created.
And, if this will create their own rival search engines to use this kerfuffle to their benefit. You know if Edible Arrangements prevails, other companies will also drag Google to court for similar grievances.
So, who do you think will win this court battle?