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Google cheats restaurants out of delivery fees, says class-action lawsuit

The lawsuit was filed earlier this week.

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Image: KnowTechie

Google has recently come under fire over some alleged practices surrounding food delivery. A class-action lawsuit has been filed claiming that Google is making unauthorized landing pages and taking a cut of fees charged by delivery services.

The lawsuit was filed earlier this week by Left Field Holdings in San Francisco courts. Left Field Holdings is a franchisee of Lime Fresh Mexican restaurants, one of the restaurants allegedly targeted by Google.

The lawsuit claims that Google creates unauthorized storefronts for restaurants to take delivery orders. Left Field claims that Google designs the sites to look like restaurants have approved them.

Then, Google will take a percentage from delivery sites like Postmates, Doordash, or Grubhub for orders placed on these faulty storefronts, says the lawsuit. Additionally, Google allegedly places a large “Order Online” button to lure customers into ordering from its fake storefronts.

“It is appalling that Google would take advantage of an industry going through such a challenging time and, through these deceptive and illegal practices, take a portion of their hard-earned profits for itself,” says Left Field attorney Jason Zweig in a statement to Reuters.

Google says it will dispute the lawsuit “vigorously”

google order now button
Image: Left Field Holdings

Google spokesperson, José Castañeda, responded to the lawsuit, stating that Google’s “Order Online” feature lets restaurants “indicate whether they support online orders or prefer a specific provider, including their own website.”

Castañeda then continued to say, “We do not receive any compensation for orders or integrations with this feature. We dispute the mischaracterizations of our product and will defend ourselves vigorously.”

Left Field filed the lawsuit on Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Proceedings like this tend to take some time, so it could be a while before we hear of any outcome.

Left Field is asking for an undisclosed amount of money for damages. But it doesn’t look like Google is going to settle this lawsuit without a fight.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at alex@knowtechie.com

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