A Paris court has barred Google from selling ad space to third parties that are attempting to resell event tickets without the promoter’s permission.
The court reiterated in its order that companies must receive written authorization from promoters to sell and/or advertise secondhand concert tickets – and that Google must assure that said authorization is in place before green-lighting the sale of ad keywords to resellers. This decision expands upon Article 313-6-2 of France’s Penal Code, which went into effect in March of 2012.
Google, of course, has a long history of profiting from selling advertising on illegal products starting with violations of the Controlled Substances Act for which the company was fined $500,000,000 (and paid at least a few hundred million more in judgements after Google was sued by shareholders). That case is one of the few reported cases that have been brought against Google in the U.S. until Maria Schneider’s class action against YouTube this year.
Google is, of course, being pursued on antitrust violations by the U.S. Department of Justice and the States of Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, and Texas.
I’ve been saying for a long time that Google is essentially a criminal enterprise ideally suited for a RICO prosecution, and frankly in collusion with a number of other members of the digital Concrete Club.
We’ll see what happens in Europe, and if that might influence U.S. prosecutors.