Google Moves to Dismiss Class Action Alleging that YouTube Subscription Violates Oregon Automatic Renewal Law

On Tuesday, Google filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ complaint in the class action lawsuit of Walkingeagle et al v. Google, LLC et al which alleges that YouTube violated Oregon’s Automatic Renewal Law and Free Offer Law. 

According to the motion, Google is the parent company of YouTube and offers a variety of applications and services across platforms including YouTube Music and YouTube Premium. Google states that YouTube Music and YouTube Premium are subscription-based services. 

The motion states that to sign up and purchase YouTube Music and YouTube Premium services, consumers are taken through a standard purchase flow and presented with a final purchase screen. Google purports that the final purchase screen informs the customer how much they will be charged, how often they will be charged, when recurring billing starts and that they can cancel any time. Further, once the sign up process is complete, YouTube immediately sends an acknowledgment email confirming the details of the membership including the  previously disclosed offer terms and how to cancel the membership. 

However, the plaintiffs filed a complaint against Google and YouTube on May 25th, 2022, alleging they failed to provide the requisite disclosures and authorizations required Oregon’s Automatic Renewal Law and Free Offer Law for YouTube Music and YouTube Premium subscriptions. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the defendants violated the Automatic Renewal Law because it did not present the renewal terms in a clear, conspicuous manner, it failed to obtain affirmative consent to the automatic renewal and failed to provide an acknowledgment that includes the automatic renewal offer terms and information how to cancel the subscription. 

The plaintiffs state that they could not figure out how to cancel their subscription resulting in one of the lead plaintiffs having to cancel his debit card and the other is still a subscriber against his will. The plaintiffs sued under the Unlawful Trade Practices Act because Oregon’s Automatic Renewal Law and Free Offer Law do not have a private right of action. 

Through the complaint, the defendants argued the complaint relies on disclosure requirements found nowhere in Oregon’s Automatic Renewal Law and Free Offer Law and thus resorts to invented requirements and conclusory allegations. Further, YouTube states that it has complied with both laws requirements and that the plaintiffs have therefore failed to state a claim. Accordingly, the defendants filed the present motion to dismiss the plaintiffs’ complaint. 

The defendants are represented by Angeli Law Group LLC and Wilson Sonsini, and the plaintiffs are represented by Bursor & Fisher, P.A.