CLASS ACTION AGAINST FACEBOOK GOOGLE & TWITTER'S CRYPTO AD BAN
This is a representative proceedings (class action) against Facebook, Google & Twitter (the proposed "Respondents") for losses suffered by the Cryptocurrency Industry as a result of the Respondents' ban on advertising for Crypto Industry products, services and investment on their platforms, in the period from 30 January 2018 until the present ("Crypto Ad Ban").
While some of the Respondents later provided limited exceptions to the Crypto Ad Ban, the damage to the market had been done and the vast majority of Crypto projects are still unable to advertise to the mainstream.
A class action will be brought in the Federal Court of Australia against the Respondents' Australian subsidiaries and parent companies for breaches of the Australian Competition and Consumer Law. The class action will seek damages for worldwide losses of Crypto Industry members and investors. The announcements of the Crypto Ad Ban by the Respondents dropped Crypto markets by hundreds of billions of dollars. Crypto exchange volumes also dropped by 60-90%.
Australia is an attractive venue for global class actions and has strong competition and consumer law.
The Respondents are leading suppliers of a large range of services in the online space including web search (Google), social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), messaging (WhatsApp), video sharing (Youtube), cloud storage (Google Cloud & Docs), cloud computing (Google Compute Engine), email (Gmail) and web browsers (Chrome).
Together they control a very large percentage of the online advertising market (over 66% of 2018 US digital ad revenue & over 80% of social media ad revenue).
Blockchain technology has enabled both cryptocurrencies (a new form of money) and the ability to provide services which previously relied on trusted central parties (ie banking, financial services, insurance, gaming and the above online services) using new decentralised, distributed models. These new (Web 3.0) models rely on specialised cryptocurrencies often called tokens.
The Crypto Industry comprises both:
providers of services to cryptocurrency investors (exchanges, wallets and advisors) and
1000s of decentralised, distributed projects that are seeking to disrupt the existing centralised business models of Google, Facebook and other web giants.
More detail can be found here.
Cause of Action
The class action will allege that the Respondents' ban of their Web 3.0 competitors advertising breached the provisions of the Australian Competition and Consumer Law such as:
giving effect to a cartel provision in a contract, arrangement or understanding (s45AK)
concerted practice that has the purpose and/or likely effect of substantially lessening competition (s45(1)(c))
misuse of market power (s46)
Who has a claim
Anyone worldwide who was adversely affected by the Crypto Ad Ban announcements on 30 January (Facebook) & 14 March 2018 (Google), 25-27 March (Twitter) and Google's implementation of the ban in June 2018 including:
Persons holding cryptocurrency in the period 29 January 2018 until 31 December 2018 (or later in limited cases)
Persons holding a Steem or Hive cryptocurrency on chain wallet at any time
Mt Gox Creditors
Grayscale Bitcoin Trust holdings and similar such cryptocurrency based instruments
Owners of Crypto Industry businesses including
Crypto Wallet Providers
Crypto Projects (pre and post ICO)
Crypto media, bloggers and YouTubers
How much will it cost to be part of the Class Action?
Its No-Win No-Fee.
JBP Liberty will pay the costs of running the case and the other side's legal costs if the class action is unsuccessful.
In return, if the action is successful, a share of your damages entitlement will be paid to JPB Liberty and the token holders who funded the class action. The only thing you are giving up is your right to sue separately.
Details are set out in the Litigation Funding Agreement.
Current Stage of Case
Class member signup: OPEN until 21 Aug 2020
Token purchase: PRIVATE SALE to eligible class members and other non-US persons who meet "sophisticated investor" requirements in their jurisdiction.
Legal status: Proceedings will be filed shortly