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U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

In this defamation action, an online ad platform was accused by its competitor of defamation and false advertising. The matter was resolved via jury verdict.

The plaintiff, Broadspring, is owner of Content.ad, an online advertising platform. The defendant, Congoo, LLC, (d/b/a Adiant and Adblade) is another online advertising platform, as well as the plaintiff’s competitor. The plaintiff asserted that defendant made deceptive and defamatory statements about their company, including several statements made by an employee of the defendant on a website named Squidoo, which is no longer active.

The plaintiff filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, accusing Congoo, LLC, and its founder/CEO, Ash N., of false and misleading advertising, as well as defamation. The plaintiff sought over $________ in damages. The defendant denied having defamed the plaintiff, asserting statements made were substantially true, and furthermore, denied the accusation of false advertising.

At trial, the defendant presented evidence that it had not engaged in a false advertising campaign, and that certain statements alleged to be defamatory both were substantially true, and made in the context of defendant trying to protect its existing publisher relationships from what they believed were its competitor’s deceptive advertising practices.After seven days of trial, the jury returned a finding rejecting the false advertising claim and awarded only $________ in actual damages, one dollar in assumed damages, and $________ in punitive damages, for certain statements found to be defamatory. The jury found that Mr. N. was not personally liable for any defamation.

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