And Yahoo continues through the rough patch it put itself into last year. On Monday, the internet giant found itself facing fresh trouble in form of a class action lawsuit that accuses the company of sending unsolicited text messages to Sprint Corp cellphone users.
The case involves consumers receiving automated “welcome” messages from Yahoo, when other users sent them entirely different messages via the Yahoo’s Messenger service. The users are basing their offense upon claims that the said messages, constituted unsolicited and illegal advertising for Yahoo services and put the Internet giant on the wrong side of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
US federal judge Manish Shah, who oversaw the case ruled that claims of the users at the other end of those unwelcome messages had enough in common to enable them to file a lawsuit in a group, against the internet giant.
Yahoo’s ultimately doomed defence was based upon the argument that a group attack may lead to the company paying out damages disproportionate to the alleged harm. It also cited the US Congress’s desire of claims being brought individually to small claims court.
The court did decline demands to specify a separate class of T-Mobile US Inc cellphone users — who were in a similar predicament by virtue of welcome messages sent by Yahoo in April of 2014 — stating that the said users had in fact, assented to receive the messages, providing a slight measure of relief to Yahoo.
Well, the ruling enables Sprint Corp cellphone users to sue the internet behemoth as a group — strength in unity, right! — and may force Yahoo to pay $1,500 — that doesn’t sound so bad, but wait for it — per message. Yeah !
However, when you stop to consider the fact that court papers show the the class to possess as many as half a million annoyed consumers — Well, things start looking significantly darker than a few thousand bucks.
However, whether or not Yahoo has to pay the damages — though the likelier question may be the amount — depends upon the verdict of the legal battle that will now be fought between the Sprint Corp users and the company (Yahoo).
Meanwhile, the looming threat of having to pay damages running in hundreds of millions may serve to put Yahoo — and others — off adventures of the sort in the future.