(Reuters) — A British cell promoting company has sued Uber to pressure the ride-hailing firm to pay hundreds of thousands of of payments that Uber had refused to pay after claiming that advertisements being generated have been fraudulent.

Fetch Media filed its lawsuit on Tuesday in the identical California federal courtroom the place Uber had sued Fetch in September, accusing the company of billing it for nonexistent, nonviewable or fraudulent advertisements, and failing to go again rebates and commissions.

Uber voluntarily dismissed that lawsuit on Dec. 22, two weeks after the case was reassigned to U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, and mentioned it could as an alternative pursue associated claims in a San Francisco state courtroom.

Ad fraud, typically known as click on fraud, is a persistent concern in internet advertising, occurring when automated packages mimic reliable customers by clicking advertisements.

Fetch, a London-based unit of Japan’s Dentsu, advised that Uber dismissed its federal case on concern it’d lose after it was assigned to Rogers, who has overseen different litigation involving the San Francisco-based firm.

In Tuesday’s lawsuit, Fetch requested that Rogers be assigned to find out each firms’ contractual duties, and direct Uber pay greater than $19.7 million of invoices nonetheless owed for 2017.

“Fetch doesn’t imagine that Uber can keep away from federal-court scrutiny of its incorrect contract theories so simply,” the corporate mentioned.

Uber didn’t instantly reply on Wednesday to requests for remark.

The Association of National Advertisers, a commerce group, final May estimated that entrepreneurs would lose $6.5 billion in 2017 due to pretend internet site visitors attributable to “bots.”

Uber mentioned in September that it had employed Fetch to put advertisements to encourage new riders to obtain the Uber app, and would pay for “reliable clicks” that helped entice riders.

But it mentioned Fetch wrongly claimed credit score for app downloads that occurred with out advertisements ever being clicked. Uber mentioned it paid Fetch greater than $82.5 million, however that Fetch’s failure to cease advert fraud contributed to no less than $50 million of damages.

According to Uber, the alleged fraud surfaced in early 2017 as clients started complaining about the place its advertisements appeared.

Uber mentioned, in a single instance, it had requested Fetch to not place advertisements on Breitbart.com, the conservative information web site run by Steve Bannon, a former strategist for U.S. President Donald Trump, however that advertisements appeared there anyway.

In courtroom papers, Fetch known as Uber a “faithless enterprise associate,” and mentioned it had helped Uber monitor advert fraud regardless of not being contractually required. Fetch additionally mentioned its work helped Uber register greater than 35 million riders.

The case is Fetch Media Ltd v. Uber Technologies Inc, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, No. 18-00015.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by David Gregorio)

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