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Yahoo! is paying thousands of pounds each to clients that claim to have been left out of pocket by discrepancies in its search marketing service.

Customers had filed a class action lawsuit in the US after noticing errors in the budgeting system used by Yahoo!'s Overture marketing platform.

The plaintiffs won a $750,000 settlement from the search giant after arguing the "feature contained certain flaws and inadequate disclosures about how it worked".

The error had meant users overspent on their ad services between October 2004 and June 2005.

Now some of the first funds claimed by aggrieved clients last year are being distributed, according to Search Engine Watch's Frank Watson, who described opening a set of emails from Yahoo! yesterday:-

"Upon opening them, I found out I was over $11,000 richer. The largess came from claims I had made last year as part of the class action suit against Yahoo!.

"The emails read: '[...] Your account with Yahoo! Search Marketing was credited in the amount of $xxxx.xx for your share of the settlement proceeds. As set forth in the court approved Notice and Settlement Agreement, your credit was calculated based on the amount of money you spent on advertising placement from October 1, 2004 to June 1, 2005 compared to the total amount of advertising spend of all the other Authorized Claimants in each of the two sub-classes--budgeting and non-budgeting.'"

Yahoo! now uses its updated Panama system to handle its vital search marketing business.

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Published 12 June, 2007 by Robert Andrews

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