Google's Search Results, Ads Are Protected Speech: Judge

Law360, San Francisco (November 13, 2014, 3:23 PM EST) -- A California judge on Thursday struck down a website owner's claims that Google Inc. violated antitrust laws by providing allegedly biased search results favoring its advertisers, and not the plaintiff's website, finding that Google's search results and ad placements are protected under free-speech laws.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith granted Google's motion, which it brought on anti-strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP) grounds, to strike owner S. Louis Martin's lawsuit. Judge Goldsmith affirmed an earlier tentative ruling that Google had shown that the actions in Martin's complaint are constitutionally protected. He also said Martin had failed to produce...

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