California Court Holds that Proposed Class Action Settlement Warranted Court Approval and Grants Defense/Plaintiff Request to Certify Class Action for Purposes of Settlement
Plaintiffs filed a putative class action against DirectRevenue and The Best Offers Network (formerly BetterInternet) arising out of targeted advertising software downloaded onto computers through ActiveX installations that did not require the affirmative consent of computer users. Battaglia v. DirectRevenue, LLC, ___ F.Supp.2d ___, 2006 WL 3654095 (E.D. Cal. December 12, 2006). Defense and plaintiff attorneys moved the federal court to certify the litigation as a class action for purposes of settlement, and to give final approval to a settlement agreement that would result in dismissal of the class action complaint. Id., at *1-*2. Among the many terms of the class action settlement, defendants agreed not to collect personal information about computer users (such as bank account and social security numbers), and to require that users affirmatively state that they had “read and approved” the terms of the End User License Agreement (EULA) under which software would be downloaded by defendants onto computers. Separately, computer users will be advised of the type of pop-up advertisements that may be displayed on their computer, and will be required to separately accept the terms of such ads. Moreover, the “accept” option would not be set as the default for these disclosures. Id., at *2. The district court found that the terms of the proposed class action settlement were fair, reasonable and adequate, and were in the best interests of the class. The court found further that the class representatives and class counsel had “fairly and adequately” represented the interests of the class. Id., at *1.
A complete summary of the terms of the settlement agreement may be found in the district court opinion.