Make us your home page
Instagram

Google to pay $500 million to settle pharmacy ad investigation

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Google 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 U.S. 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.

From its vantage point, Google crossed into a shady area of prescription drug advertising in pursuit of higher profits, which have boosted its stock price and enriched its employees since the company's initial public offering in 2004.

The figure represents the gross revenue Google collected in ad buys from hundreds of Canadian pharmacies, plus the earnings generated from the illegal drug sales to American consumers from 2003 to 2009, federal investigators said.

Google to pay $500 million to settle pharmacy ad investigation 08/24/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 9:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Carrollwood fitness center employs scientific protocol to help clients

    Business

    In 2005, Al Roach and Virginia Phillips, husband and wife, opened 20 Minutes to Fitness in Lakewood Ranch, and last month they opened the doors to their new location in Carrollwood.

    Preston Fisher, a personal fitness coach at 20 Minutes To Fitness, stands with an iPad while general manager/owner Angela Begin conducts an equipment demonstration. The iPad is used to track each client's information and progress. I also included one shot of just the equipment. The center recently opened in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  2. Olive Tree branches out to Wesley Chapel

    Business

    WESLEY CHAPEL — When it came time to open a second location of The Olive Tree, owners John and Donna Woelfel, decided that Wesley Chapel was the perfect place.

    The Olive Tree expands its offerings of "ultra premium?€ extra virgin olive oils (EVOO) to a second location in Wesley Chapel. Photo by Danielle Hauser.
  3. Massachusetts firm buys Tampa's Element apartment tower

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — Downtown Tampa's Element apartment tower sold this week to a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company that plans to upgrade the skyscraper's amenities and operate it long-term as a rental community.

    The Element apartment high-rise at 808 N Franklin St. in downtown Tampa has been sold to a Northland Investment Corp., a Massachusetts-based real estate investment company. JIM DAMASKE  |  Times
  4. New York town approves Legoland proposal

    News

    GOSHEN, N.Y. — New York is one step closer to a Lego dreamland. Goshen, a small town about fifty miles northwest of the Big Apple, has approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park.

    A small New York town, Goshen approved the site plan for a $500 million Legoland amusement park. Legoland Florida is in Winter Haven. [Times file  photo]
  5. Jordan Park to get $20 million makeover and new senior housing

    Real Estate

    By WAVENEY ANN MOORE

    Times Staff Writer

    ST. PETERSBURG —The St. Petersburg Housing Authority, which bought back the troubled Jordan Park public housing complex this year, plans to spend about $20 million to improve the 237-unit property and construct a new three-story building for …

    Jordan Park, the historic public housing complex, is back in the hands of the St. Petersburg Housing Authority. The agency is working to improve the 237-unit complex. But the latest plan to build a new three-story building for seniors will mean 31 families have to find new homes. [LARA CERRI   |   Tampa Bay Times]