Australian crypto firms to sue tech giants for $600m
A number of Australian companies are contemplating a class-action lawsuit against US tech giants over the imposition of advertising restrictions on crypto firms
A group of Australian crypto firms are reportedly considering suing tech giants such as Google, Twitter and Facebook for up to A$872m ($600m, £471m) in damages. According to a report from Daily Mail Australia, the collection of companies, represented by the Sydney-based law firm JBP Liberty, has accused the US tech titans of harming their businesses by banning their advertisements.
While the cryptocurrency boom of 2017/18 attracted many legitimate entrepreneurs to the burgeoning sector, a slew of scammers and criminals also attempted to capitalise on the hype. Following a number of high-profile fraudulent initial coin offerings (ICOs), Facebook, Twitter and Google tightened their restrictions on the advertisement of cryptocurrency firms. The advertising of ICOs, token sales, exchanges and wallet services were all banned.
While both Facebook and Google have already relaxed their restrictions, those bringing the class-action lawsuit have argued that the bans hurt the growth of legitimate cryptocurrency businesses, as the firms act as a quasi-duopoly over the global advertising industry.
As the “Wild West” days fade into the distance, the crypto world has managed to shake off its early association with criminality. Indeed, both Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey have launched projects hoping to propel the adoption and development of digital asset technology.
However, Dr Brian Bishko, the vice-president of technology & public affairs at JBP Liberty, told the Mail: “I think Facebook is too powerful to exist in the world – I honestly think it’s a danger to the world… Social media giants Facebook, Twitter and Google cannot be held accountable for content on their platforms in the US despite increasingly making editorial decisions like a publisher. It caused enormous damage.”
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