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Google LLC

CASE CAPTION             Rene Cabrera, et al., v. Google LLC
COURT United States District Court for the Northern District of California - San Jose Division
CASE NUMBER 5:11-cv-01263-EJD
JUDGE Honorable Edward J. Davila
PLAINTIFFS Rene Cabrera and RM Cabrera Company, Inc. (“RMC”)

Location Targeting Class: January 1, 2004 through March 22, 2011,

Smart Pricing Class: August 22, 2006 through February 20, 2013,

This long-running, nationwide consumer fraud class action arises out of a decade-long overcharging scheme in which Google bilked advertisers using its online “AdWords” platform. Kessler Topaz represents two classes of advertisers.

The first class alleges that Google misrepresented that it would only charge advertisers for clicks on ads placed within geographical locations of the advertisers’ choosing. In actuality, Google covertly charged advertisers for ads displayed outside of their explicitly designated locations. Plaintiffs and the class assert that Google’s misconduct violated California’s Unfair Competition Law which prohibits unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices.

The second class alleges that Google breached its agreement with advertisers and systematically overcharged them for years by failing to apply its “Smart Pricing” algorithm which, as Google warranted, is designed to automatically discount the price that advertisers pay based on the likelihood that a particular click will convert to business. Unbeknownst to Google’s advertisers, Google did not apply Smart Pricing discounts as promised. Plaintiffs and the class allege that Google’s disabling of its Smart Pricing feature resulted in massive damages to advertisers.

After twelve years of litigation, on August 15, 2023, The Honorable Edward J. Davila of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a 69-page opinion certifying two classes of online advertisers and denying Google’s motion for summary judgment. The Court appointed Plaintiffs Rene Cabrera and RM Cabrera Company, Inc. as class representatives, and Kessler Topaz as class counsel. The case will now proceed to trial.