A French Court rules that search engines are not liable for the way a company is presented in their search results (Publison System v. Google France & Yahoo France)

A French firm discovered that results returned by major search tools pointed to excerpts of a website criticizing it. It sued the search tools, claiming they were disparaging. A French court of appeals finds that this neither constitutes unfair competition nor gives rise to liability. Facts Publison System produces and sells a range of audio products. Search on the French versions of Yahoo! and Google websites ended up with results pages pointing to a site that criticized the company, in a way Publison found defamatory and disparaging. The website turned out to mention that Publison System was a company “to be avoided”. The company

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Cédric Manara, A French Court rules that search engines are not liable for the way a company is presented in their search results (Publison System v. Google France & Yahoo France), 19 March 2009, e-Competitions Bulletin March 2009, Art. N° 29362

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