Microsoft files click-fraud
Microsoft has filed a civil complaint in United States District Court in Seattle
over click fraud and is seeking at least $750,000 in damages.
The complaint alleges, that by engaging in a widespread scheme that generated
invalid clicks on links to online ads that were displayed in response to search
requests for the game World of Warcraft
and auto insurances on Microsoft’s network, defendants disrupted the advertising
campaigns of their competitors, obtained increased user traffic for their own
ads at a much lower cost than they could have otherwise, and caused substantial
damages to Microsoft, which has lost revenues and expended substantial money and
resources to remedy the effects of defendant’s conduct.
According to Microsoft,
the company credited nearly 1,5 million US-dollar to auto insurance and WoW
advertisers in direct response to the click fraud.
complaint gives an example for click fraud: "An advertiser in a
particular industry such as auto insurance that has a sponsored site
appearing low on the result list could generate repeated clicks on the
higher-ranked sponsored sites of its competitors to the point that the
competitors’ advertising budgets were exhausted or the performance of their
sponsored sites was dramatically lowered. This would cause the
higher-ranking sponsored sites to drop off the results page or decrease in
the ranking, and the perpetrator’s lower-ranking sponsored site to rise to a
higher position in the sponsored site list."
Also see: The Register,
Microsoft sues family over alleged click fraud