Search engine giant Google is reportedly on the verge of settling a criminal investigation on illegal drug ads being displayed on its platform.
Google was accused by the US Department of Justice of making millions of dollars by displaying advertisements from pharma companies that flouted US laws.
Citing people familiar with the matter, The Wall Street Journal reported that the investigation was focused on determining whether Google had knowingly displayed the advertisement from illegal pharma companies that are located in Canada and elsewhere.
Previously, it was revealed that Google had set aside whooping $500 million for an investigation being carried out by the Justice Department. It was not clear exactly which investigation the money was being set aside for. It could be the highest penalty a company had to pay for profiting from illegal activities.
Search engine companies are generally not responsible for the content available via search results but they can be held accountable for profiting from illegal activities, in this case, illegal drugs.
There are several pharma companies that sell drugs on their websites but some flout US laws by selling fake and expired medicine. Some also sell medicine without the need for a doctor’s prescription.