Yahoo Click Fraud Settlement Approved

Search Engine Watch has news that a settlement in the Checkmate click fraud action against Yahoo has received final approval by the judge overseeing the case. Those with claims were required to file by November 20 of last year, following instructions at the Checkmate Settlement site. Here’s the Yahoo statement they’re giving to the press from Reggie Davis, Yahoo’s newly appointed click fraud czar:

Judge Snyder’s final approval of the settlement validates the strength of Yahoo’s clickthrough protection systems and our commitment to delivering a quality experience to both our advertisers and our consumers. Our commitment does not stop here. Quality is a top priority for Yahoo and we have a clear roadmap for how we’re going to create the highest quality search advertising network in the industry

I have a question out to Yahoo about what the next step is — do people finally get settlement amounts or what? Via Andy Beal, also has some additional background.

Postscript: Some more information I received from Brian Kabateck, of Kabateck Brown Kellner, the firm that led the case against Yahoo.

Q. Can you update me on the next steps? My understanding is that the class is now set, and if you didn’t get in, you can’t claim under this. Right?

The class is closed. If you made a claim, Yahoo now has an obligation to contact you and discuss the claim and review your clicks (all of them) from January 1, 2004 to June 30, 2006.

Q I also understand that at some point, click claims will be submitted for review. When does that start? When’s the close date? When will the final decision on all claims be made? And when will a final amount of what’s been awarded be released?

I don’t know when the process will conclude, but the process includes a chance for anyone to have the Yahoo decision reviewed by a retired federal judge. The payment will be made as soon as the review is complete.

Q. Also, how many opted out of the settlement?

Less than 20, I believe

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Legal: Clickfraud | Yahoo: Search Ads


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Jeffmol

    I’m surprised that so many have so little to say about this case as it’s been going on for quite some time now. This is BAD for advertisers of all flavors.

    Yahoo stands to *benefit* from being sued by its advertisers based on the legal action’s ludicrous settlement terms; terms that absolve them of liability for fraudulent, and more importantly “unwanted”, clicks sent to advertisers over the last 8 years.

    In return, advertisers get the opportunity to *ask* for credits (to buy more advertising) and these credits may ultimately be denied by the company. If you look into the *process* (as I did) you’ll notice that Yahoo’s intent here is to make it nearly impossible (obviously, that’s just my professional opinion) to actually get the credits (sound familiar?… i.e. Google).

    The $5 million Yahoo! will pay to Checkmate Strategic Group is, in effect, a VERY cost effective insurance policy against click fraud concerns that may arise in the future; all while, legally, never admitting fault and promising advertisers not one dime based on my research of court documents.

    It gets worse — the Class is HUGE given that advertisers were all auto-opted into it. Opting out? You’d not believe that process either. I’ve documented all of this stuff here

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