Google and Facebook have been hit with a class action in relation to their decisions in 2018 to restrict advertising of digital currencies on their respective platforms.
An originating application, statement of claim and genuine steps statement were lodged in the New South Wales registry of the Federal Court this month by Andrew Hamilton claiming that the internet giants breached Australian competition laws.
In comments provided to Cointelegraph, Hamilton, who is not a lawyer in NSW, claims that his extensive research into Australian competition law has led to his belief that Facebook and Google were acting as a cartel, and that it would be “pretty easy to prove it.”
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission may not be as confident as Mr Hamilton, as they did not respond to Mr Hamilton complaints about Google and Facebook. Mr Hamilton also told Cointelegraph that the class action has seen “a major law firm” contribute “hundreds of hours off the clock“.
At this stage, without knowing the details of the claim, it is difficult to contemplate the merit of the arguments. In addition to the specific questions about the application of Australia’s prohibitions against cartel conduct, which are set out in Part IV, Division 1 of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), there are opens questions about the claim’s connection to Australia, as well as the arrangements between Mr Hamilton in his role as Applicant, Legal Representative and any litigation funder (if there is one).
We will continue following this case
and provide updates as it develops.