Following seven years of litigation, an appeals court reversed a $2.3 million verdict against digital marketing agency TriMax, which was accused by a competitor of interfering with its contracts and prospective business.
The 2014 lawsuit centered around Google AdWords Auctions, an online auction platform where companies including TriMax and the competitor, Wickfire, compete for advertising space. Search engines such as Google conduct auctions in which advertisers can bid for the right to place merchant-specific advertisements alongside particular search terms.
Among other allegations, Wickfire said TriMax bid on search terms associated with Wickfire clients and clicked on those ads in search results, driving up search advertising costs. In response, TriMax claimed that Wickfire interfered with its existing contracts and engaged in predatory bidding during auctions.
In 2017, a jury agreed with Wickfire, awarding it a total of $2.3 million in damages. But in 2021, in response to TriMax’s appeal, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the award, saying that Wickfire had failed to prove its claims. This past March, a Texas district court denied Wickfire’s request that TriMax pay a total of $402,100 in costs and attorney’s fees.
“After so many years of litigation, TriMax has received complete exoneration,” TriMax CEO Laura Woodruff said in March. “We are thrilled but certainly unsurprised by the outcome.”