By Lacie-Mae Durham
Australian law firm, JPB Liberty, argues that the tech giants’ 2018 ban on crypto advertising killed the ICO market
JPB Liberty, a law firm located in Philip bay, New South Wales, has filed a class-action lawsuit in the Federal Court of New South Wales. The law firm alleges that Facebook and Google have engaged in anti-competitive behavior by banning cryptocurrency advertising in 2018.
JPB maintains that the ban, which eased up in 2019, dealt a heavy blow to the initial coin offering (ICO) market and led to severe financial damage to the wider cryptocurrency industry.
The Chief Executive Officer of JPB Liberty, Andrew Hamilton, argued that these two high profile companies had acted as a cartel when they launched the crypto ad ban. This was allegedly a strategic and calculated move that aimed to quash the possibility of competition from the blockchain sector.
The lawsuit has managed to gather more than $600 million worth of claims from the cryptocurrency community. Claimant sign-ups will remain open until August 21.
According to the webpage, “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” is welcome to sign up.
In addition, claimants do not need to shell out to be a part of the class action lawsuit. The webpage states that the law firm will pay the costs of running the case, as well as the legal costs that would be incurred by the other side if the class action lawsuit is unsuccessful.
Should the lawsuit be successful, a share of the claimant’s damages entitlement will be paid to JPB Liberty and the token holders who funded the class action.
The only cost to signing up is an individual’s right to sue separately.
Hamilton believes that the amount in claims can grow to as much as $300 billion before the deadline.
The CEO also challenged the tech giant’s pretext of protecting their consumers against scams to justify the crypto ad ban.
“There are impersonation scams of crypto all over YouTube — impersonating the Ripple CEO, the Binance CEO. YouTube has failed to ban actual impersonation scams while banning the genuine company,” he argued.
Hamilton highlighted research results that indicated a trend where a majority of scams associated with cryptocurrencies involve fraudsters impersonating high profile personalities in the blockchain industry. He also pointed to a recent uptick in crypto impersonation scams that have surfaced in Youtube.