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Google Settles illegal Pharmacy Ads Case for $500 Million

Google has paid the US Department of Justice $500 million to settle a long-standing case in which the company was accused of taking ads from dubious Canadian pharmacies.

The search engine giant was accused of profiting from the ads placed by illegal online Canadian pharmacies, thereby violating federal law.

The Justice Department said that settlement amount, one of the biggest paid to the department, covers the gross revenue Google made by Canadian pharmacies advertising through AdWords and the gross revenue the pharmacies made by selling the medicine via Google.

"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." he added.

Meanwhile, Google said via email that it had stopped posting advertisement for prescription drugs being offered by Canadian pharmacies a long time ago but admitted that it should not have placed advertisements in the first place. The company has also agreed to comply with the conditions of the settlement.