The Google Book Search settlement has its first heavyweight objection, as author and attorney Scott Gant this morning filed with the court a hard-hitting 50-page objection that claims the sweeping deal is an illegal expansion of class-action law. In a copy of the brief shared with PW, Gant, a Harvard-educated lawyer with more than a decade of class-action litigation experience, and the author of We're All Journalists Now: The Transformation of the Press and Reshaping of the Law in The Internet Age (Free Press), argues that the settlement is a “predominantly commercial transaction,” that “cannot be imposed through the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23,” the order that authorizes class action.
Among his arguments, Gant asserts that the settlement:
Fails to satisfy notice requirements imposed by Rule 23 and the Fifth Amendment’s Due Process Clause
Fails to provide putative class members with adequate compensation
Fails to satisfy the typicality and adequacy requirements of Rule 23
Would vest Google with significant market power which it could not acquire without the settlement.
Raises serious antitrust issues that must be considered as part of this Court’s review of the Proposed Settlement.