A San Francisco court recently ruled that Google is free to display its search results as it sees fit. Backed by the First Amendment, the tech juggernaut has been battling for this right for several years and a California judge ruled in its favor last week. This situation started when a website called CoastNews filed a lawsuit against Google claiming that the company intentionally lowered its rankings in web search results.

The outfit claims that Google maliciously did this to eliminate a potential competitor and that other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo ranked its brand higher in their results. Google later replied with an anti-SLAPP motion, a method that allows defendants to contest a lawsuit that would discourage free speech.

This legal tussle probably won’t be Google’s last bout with these types of claims and it’s a clear indication of just how different laws are in the US compared to other countries. Nevertheless, this ruling is definitely a win for the folks in Mountain View and it also provides their legal team with reference material if when an inevitable copycat lawsuit is filed by another company.

(via Gigaom)

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