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Google Shells Out $500 Million In Settlement

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Google Pays 500 Million

Google shelled out $500 million in a settlement with the US Government so it wouldn't be criminally charged for a flawed ad system that allowed illegal Canadian pharmacies to sell drugs illegally to consumers in the U.S.

The settlement means the Internet search leader will not face criminal prosecution for accusations that it improperly profited from ads promoting Canadian pharmacies that illegally imported drugs into the United States, U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha said.

The $500 million represents the gross revenues Google collected in ad buys from the Canadian pharmacies, plus the earnings generated from the illegal sales of drugs to American consumers, federal investigators said.

Federal officials also say Google knew as early as 2003 that its ad system was allowing Canadian pharmacies to make illegal sales. These transactions included the sale of prescription drugs without prescriptions from a licensed medical practitioner, federal prosecutors said.

This is definitely something Google needs to crack down on. Yeah, they do get billions of dollars for ad revenue and $500 mil doesn't seem like a huge sum in the face of that, but if this happens again and again it's going to add up.

Plus they need to think of the safety of their users. Illegal scripts could be bad news.

[Image via AP Images.]

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