Priceline, Travelocity, Cingular settle over adware charges

January 30, 2007 at 9:42 am 15 comments

reuters.gif By Reuters

Priceline.com, Travelocity.com and Cingular Wireless have settled over charges that they used secret adware Internet software programs as marketing tools, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said on Monday.

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This is the first time marketers have been held responsible for ads displayed through adware, the software that automatically displays promotional material, Cuomo’s office said in a statement. The settlement calls for Priceline.com, Travelocity and Cingular, the wireless unit of AT&T, to pay New York $35,000, $30,000 and $35,000, respectively, to cover penalties and investigatory costs.

“Advertisers can no longer insulate themselves from liability by turning a blind eye to how their advertisements are delivered, or by placing ads through intermediaries, such as media buyers,” the statement said. The settlements followed a lawsuit the attorney general filed against Direct Revenue, alleging the company installed adware programs in millions of computers worldwide that delivered streams of advertisements to PCs without the consent of users.

In Monday’s statement, the attorney general’s office said that lawsuit against Direct Revenue had uncovered evidence that “Priceline, Travelocity and Cingular, among others, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars delivering ads through Direct Revenue software.” Under the agreement, the companies are required to use due diligence when selecting and using adware providers, give consumers full disclosure of the name of the applicable adware program and allow them to remove the software.

Story Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

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Entry filed under: adaware, adware, adware removers, attorney general, cingular wireless, cingular.com, direct-revenue, lavasoft, new york, priceline, priceline.com, spyware, travelocity, travelocity.com.

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