BENGALURU: n a significant interim ruling, the Delhi high court has directed search engine major Google to suspend an advertising account on its Ad Words programme, where companies bid for keywords to appear on top of search results.
The directive has come after two contempt petitions by MakeMyTrip (MMT) in the last two months against rival HappyEasyGo (HEG) in the court. The pleas were to stop HEG from using MMT-related keywords to appear on top of search results. The case was first filed in May 2018. But the recent contempt notices were slapped again after finding HEG was still using MMT-related keywords to boost its visibility in search results.
Google Ad Words is one of the key revenue sources for the search giant where companies bid for certain keywords and that helps them to appear as top results. This includes keywords like the name of popular platforms — for example, MMT.
Industry sources said in situations like these, MMT ends up spending more on the Ad Words programme to bid for its own trademark to come on top of the search result. The competitive bidding on the brand’s word mark raises the cost per click on Google platform by up to three to four times, people aware of the matter added.
The court order issued last week, reviewed by TOI, has also asked to issue bailable warrants for HEG’s two India executives. In recent times, several companies are increasingly expressing concerns over the Ad Words programme. TOI has previously reported that the matter was taken to government departments like the DPIIT.
MMT has a similar litigation going on against rival EaseMyTrip as well. An MMT spokesperson declined to comment on the matter, while emails sent to Google India and HEG did not immediately elicit any response.