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Google's Click Fraud Settlement Seen As Non-Event
Kate DuBose Tomassi, 03.09.06, 10:43 AM ET




Google's settlement of a click fraud class action lawsuit is a "non-event," according to SG Cowen analyst Jim Friedland.

On Wednesday, Google (nasdaq: GOOG - news - people ) announced that in February, it agreed to settle a click fraud lawsuit for $90 million, pending judicial approval. Yahoo! (nasdaq: YHOO - news - people ) is also a defendant, but will continue to litigate the case.

Google will allow all U.S. advertisers to apply for reimbursements for invalid clicks since February 2002.

"There are a number of issues that could hurt Google, but we believe click fraud is not one of them," said Friedland. "We continue to expect near-term sentiment to be negative and the stock is likely to go down on this news item. Nevertheless, the fundamentals remain unchanged."

Standard & Poor's Equity Research analyst Scott Kessler reiterated a "hold" opinion on Google shares.

"Although we believe the settlement would resolve many past click-fraud claims against Google, we are not sure it would address all domestic claims," he said.

"Also, we believe international actions are possible, and new related developments could accrue."




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