TradeComet v. Google Dismissed Based on Venue Selection Clause

By Eric Goldman

TradeComet.com LLC v. Google, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20154 (SDNY March 5, 2010)

The judge has (finally) dismissed TradeComet’s antitrust lawsuit against Google based on the venue selection clause in Google’s AdWords contract.

The result isn’t very surprising. It is consistent with recent similar rulings, such as the uncited Miller v. Facebook and Flowbee v. Google rulings. The latter ruling recently dismissed an advertiser lawsuit against Google (in that case, trademark instead of antitrust) based on the AdWords venue selection clause. The court said that TradeComet’s antitrust concerns are sufficiently related to the AdWords relationship to be included within its mandatory venue selection clause.

The most interesting point is that the court upheld Google’s agreement despite the fact it contains a “we can change this agreement whenever we want” provision. I’ve argued before that those provisions are toxic, but B2B contracts can get a little more slack than B2C contracts.

Having won yet another ruling that its AdWords venue selection clause requires lawsuits to be brought in Google’s home court, it reiterates again that Google almost certainly breached its own contract by bringing a collections lawsuit against myTriggers in myTriggers’ home court. Google will most likely pay for that mistake by losing its ability to pull the case back into California, even though the case has morphed into a major antitrust showdown.

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