A court ruled that Gmail users consented to Google’s monetization of Gmail content ended the class action lawsuit since “consent must be litigated on an individual, rather than class-wide basis.” The class action suit filed in 2011 In Re Google Gmail Litigation was dismissed “with prejudice,” which means the plaintiffs cannot revise its complaint with new claims, as ordered on March 18, 2014 by US District Judge Lucy Koh (Northern District of California).
Bloomberg said that “the amount at stake could have reached into the trillions of dollars” for violation of the Federal Wiretap Act and called Google’s win:
…a major victory in its fight against claims it illegally scanned private e-mail messages to and from Gmail accounts, defeating a bid to unify lawsuits in a single group case on behalf of hundreds of millions of Internet users.
Judge Koh’s ruling will likely adversely affect the related Yahoo! class action webmail litigation for Yahoo!’s monetization of webmail content. Stay tuned for the next battleground on this Gmail case in the appellate courts.