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Yahoo Users Agree to Drop Suits Over E-Mail Scanning

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Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- Yahoo! Inc. reached an agreement with two groups of users to end their lawsuits alleging that the company illegally scanned e-mail messages for targeted advertising, according to filings by attorneys on both sides. Other lawsuits making similar claims are proceeding.

One of the cases being dropped was the first filed in federal court in San Jose, California, over claims the scanning invades users’ privacy and violates state and federal wiretap laws. That case, which was filed Oct. 2 on behalf of residents of San Bruno, California, and five later cases were all assigned to U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh.

“Two of the six cases have been discontinued but the other four are continuing,” David Straite, a lawyer in one of the related cases, said today in a phone interview. “The court is still considering a motion to consolidate the remaining four cases and appoint leadership.”

Lawyers in the Oct. 2 case said in a court filing today that they met with lawyers for Yahoo and “no longer believe this is a case they would like to pursue” based on the company’s “representations.”

Ara R. Jabagchourian, a lawyer representing the San Bruno plaintiffs, didn’t immediately respond to phone and e-mail messages about the agreement with Yahoo’s lawyers to drop the case.

Sarah Meron, a spokeswoman for Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo, didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

The San Bruno case is Kevranian v. Yahoo! Inc., 13-cv-04547, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose). One of the continuing cases is Pincus v. Yahoo!, 13-cv-05326, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).

To contact the reporter on this story: Joel Rosenblatt in federal court in San Jose, California, at jrosenblatt@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net