Cnet: Google settles rogue drug ad claims for $500 million
The settlement, one of the largest ever in the United States according to the Justice Department, covers the gross revenue received by Google as a result of Canadian pharmacies advertising through Google’s AdWords program, and the gross revenue made by those pharmacies from their sales to U.S. consumers.
“The Department of Justice will continue to hold accountable companies who in their bid for profits violate federal law and put at risk the health and safety of American consumers,” said Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole. “This settlement ensures that Google will reform its improper advertising practices with regard to these pharmacies while paying one of the largest financial forfeiture penalties in history.”
In May, the company disclosed a $500 million charge taken against its first-quarter results to cover potential charges related to the Justice Department investigation. This morning, in its first comments on the case, Google expressed contrition about its actions, and said it has changed the way its accepts ads for pharmacies.
“We banned the advertising of prescription drugs in the U.S. by Canadian pharmacies some time ago,” a spokesman for the company said in an e-mail. “However, it’s obvious with hindsight that we shouldn’t have allowed these ads on Google in the first place.”……Learn More
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