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Regulators will announce Wednesday that Google will pay $500 million to settle government charges that it has illegally shown ads for online pharmacies that operate outside the law, according to two people briefed on the investigation.
Google Inc. has reached a $500 million legal settlement with the U.S. Justice Department to avoid prosecution over allegations that it knowingly accepted hundreds of millions of dollars in ads from Canadian online pharmacies.
The Justice Department said that the forfeiture was one of the largest ever in the U.S. and represented the gross revenue received by Google as a result of Canadian pharmacies advertising on Google, plus gross revenue made by Canadian pharmacies from their sales to U.S. consumers.
The ads resulted in the unlawful importation of controlled and non-controlled prescription drugs into the United States, the Justice Department said.
Justice Department investigators believed that Google Inc's Chief Executive Larry Page knew about improper online pharmacy ads that Google carried, and allowed the ads for years, the Wall Street Journal said...- [reuters.com...]
"Larry Page knew what was going on," Peter Neronha, the Rhode Island U.S. Attorney who led the probe, told the Journal...
Prosecutors found internal emails and documents that, they say, show Page was aware of the allegedly illicit ad sales, the newspaper said...
The Justice Department contends that Google knew it was potentially violating U.S. law since at least 2003, but didn't take effective action to ban the ads until it mounted an undercover sting operation against the Internet search giant in 2009, the journal said.
Google boss 'knew about' unlicensed pharmacy adverts.
Google's chief executive Larry Page knew that adverts for unlicensed Canadian pharmacies were running on its US site, according to a government prosecutor.
Google Inc's board of directors faces a lawsuit for...what it calls the "illegal importation" of the drugs.
Citizens of the USA pay the highest drug prices in the world.
From an outsider's perspective I find it interesting that the government will prosecute those advertising cheaper prices, but won't enact laws to achieve cheaper prices and are removing the mechanisms that would help those who can't afford their drug costs in the US.
That's becuase we subsidize the freaking world. Other impose price limits so they rip us off to make up for it. And then we pay indirectly for the free drugs for Africa and other poor countries.
Personally I am not happy paying $150 for antibiotics especially when a $4 one works just as well.
Seems like this settlement was more to buy the Google top brass a pass at having to take the stand in a court of law than anything else.That's how I see it too. If they had asked for $2 Billion they would have probably gotten it too. Google cannot even deny that they knowingly broke the law and that their top brass, Larry to be be specific, knew it. If they deny it, the agreement is off and the feds will press charges (It was on their settlement.)