This one pulls no punches.
According to The Washington Post:
“Potentially more explosive is the plaintiff’s claim that Yahoo regularly uses its relationship with adware and typosquatting sites to gin up extra revenue around earnings time, alleging that the company is conspiring to boost revenue by partnering with some of the Internet’s seamier characters…”
It gets worse….
“The complaint alleges that “by placing ads into illegal platforms such as spyware programs, [Yahoo] wrongfully collected high search engine advertising fees for ads that are actually shown in contexts that are worth far less, if anything. It is well known that spyware advertising is much cheaper than search engine advertising”
No official word from Yahoo! as yet, but certainly one to watch. For more background on search click fraud issues, check out Wired’s article from January 2006:
“Pay-per-click advertising is big, big, big business. So are bogus hits on Internet ads. It’s search giants against scam artists in an arms race that could crash the entire online economy.”