Google settles ad probe for $500M


Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I.

Google Inc. has agreed to pay $500 million to settle a U.S. government investigation into the Internet-search leader’s distribution of online ads from Canadian pharmacies illegally selling prescription drugs to American consumers.

The settlement means Google will not face criminal prosecution for accusations that it improperly profited from ads promoting Canadian pharmacies that illegally imported drugs into the United States, Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha said. It is the first time an Internet- search engine is being held responsible for the illegal distribution of drugs.

The settlement delivered a stinging rebuke for Google, whose motto is “don’t be evil.” In announcing the settlement, authorities left little doubt that Google had misbehaved.

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