Google Moves to Dismiss Class-Action Lawsuit over Refusal to Redeem Gift Cards

Last Thursday, defendants Alphabet, Inc., Google, Inc., Google Payment Corp., and Google Arizona LLC filed a Notice of Motion and Motion to Dismiss the First Amended Complaint, Transfer Venue, and/or Strike Class Allegations in the Central District of California. They did so in response to an ongoing class-action lawsuit against their alleged “refus[al] to redeem Google Play gift cards in accordance with California law.”

In the notice, the defendants explained that “Google Play is Google’s online platform through which sellers can sell apps, games, movies, and other digital content”, and that Google Play gift cards are bound to the “Gift Card TOS”, which incorporates the Google Play Terms of Service and the Google Terms of Service. The defendants emphasized that the Google TOS has a forum selection clause that states: “disputes will be resolved exclusively in the federal or state courts of Santa Clara County, California.” Google argued that their forum selection clause should be “enforced either by dismissal under the doctrine of forum non conveniens or by transfer to the Northern District of California”, claiming that they have a “significant corporate footprint there” and that they “employ thousands of employees at [their] various offices in the Northern District.”

The defendants argued that the lawsuit should be dismissed “in its entirety for failure to state any viable claim.” They claimed that California’s Unfair Competition Law and the breach of contract claims “are not governed by the Gift Certificate Law.” Furthermore, they suggested that each putative class member be verified as a Google Play gift card holder, so that Google can check whether their individual accounts were subject to “improperly applied” security measures.

The plaintiffs are represented by McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP. They are seeking class action certification, restitution, an award for damages, and attorney’s fees and costs.

Google is represented by Cooley LLP.