American Airlines Sues Google for Linking to Rivals

Google refuses to settle, says that legal precedent is on their side
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2007 9:50 PM CDT
An American Airlines passenger jet prepares to land at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Grapevine, Texas, Tuesday, July 17, 2007. American Airlines parent AMR Corp. reported, Wednesday, July...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Googlers who type in trademarked keywords like “Aadvantage” will get links to American Airlines – but also to the company’s rivals, and that’s prompted AA to file a linking lawsuit. The airline tried to settle but Google is confident that legal precedent is on their side. "When done right, search is a great tool," said an AA spokesman. "But we have a problem with this part of their business."

The issue is over Google ads, which pop up alongside links to businesses by using their trademarks as tags. In a similar case two years ago, a judge ruled in Google's favor but set limits on what could be printed in the ads themselves. The AP reports that companies sue Google on similar charges pretty regularly; Google often wins in the US but has lost cases in France.