I think I read somewhere in the comments and reactions section of the Inc. article, that Matt Cutts and Google are considering a public outing of the SEO company that bought the links. (second hand-repeat from the article, no proof to link to)
(Edit: After tracking MC's tweets, it looks like he is not going to out them, but knows who they are, and feels it will be known in time. He added the youveheardofthem tag)
I can only see this as have a very negative impact on Google as a whole. It screams... "Internet Police" to me... and if they want the job, they should be prepared to legally defend their choice to do so! So much for the super-secret algo and grey-area guidelines they hide behind!
Opening <meet> The Box of Worms!