Australia’s High Court ruled today that Google is not responsible for the messages of its paid advertisers, overturning an earlier Federal Court ruling from April, 2012. The decision marks the conclusion of six years of legal wrangling between Google and Australia’s consumer protection agency, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), over complaints that search results for a business would prompt competitors’ ads to be displayed — a practice the ACCC argued was deceptive.
"Ordinary and reasonable users of the Google search engine would have understood."
Reuters reports that in their ruling, the five High Court justices state that "ordinary and reasonable users of the Google search engine would have understood that the representations conveyed by the sponsored links were those of the advertisers, and would not have concluded that Google adopted or endorsed the representations." Australia’s High Court is its final court of appeal, which means that Google is finally completely off the hook.