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Delhi HC directs Google to suspend HappyEasyGo's ad account

The direction came on two contempt petitions filed by MakeMyTrip against HEG.

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New Delhi: The Delhi high court has directed Google to suspend an advertising account of travel booking website HappyEasyGo on its Ad Words programme, where companies bid for keywords to appear on top of search results.

The directive was passed by a single judge bench of justice Jayant Nath on two contempt petitions filed by MakeMyTrip (MMT) against HappyEasyGo (HEG) in the last two months, reported Live Law.

The plea was filed for acting against a prior order which had restrained HEG from bidding for, adopting and using any of MMT's word marks or deceptive variants thereof, as an ad word through Google's Ad Word Programme.

MakeMyTrip had sought to stop HEG from using MMT-related keywords to appear on top of search results.

MMT recently pursued fresh contempt notices against HEG, alleging that it was still using MMT-related keywords despite the order dated 30 May 2018, in which the restraining directives were passed in MMT's favour.

MakeMyTrip had first moved the high court in 2018 stating that the website of HappyGoEasy, who also engaged in the business of online booking and selling of air tickets, appeared in the sponsored links section of the search engine when search was conducted for the mark “makemytrip”.

According to a report in Bar & Bench, the court also issued directions for service of bailable warrants against directors Rajesh Kumar Dathik and Neelam Rani, in order to secure their presence before the court on the next date of hearing.

Google Ad Words are a key revenue source for the search giant where companies bid for certain keywords to appear on top of search results. This includes keywords like the name of popular platforms like MMT.

In recent times, several companies have expressed concerns over the Ad Words programme. MMT has a similar litigation going on against rival EaseMyTrip as well.

The matter will next be heard on 7 April. 

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