Search engine giant Google has been sued by one of its shareholders for facilitating the sales of illegal prescription drugs in the United States.
The company had been found guilty of knowingly placing ads from illegal online Canadian pharmacies. Google ended up paying a whooping $500 million in order to settle the case. The settlement included the revenue Google made from advertising the drugs. It later emerged that Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page knew about the ads.
The lawsuit, which was filed in the federal court in San Jose, California, by Patricia McKenna, a Google shareholder from Pennsylvania, claims that Google’s CEO and the company’s board knew or should have known that it was illegal for drug companies outside the US to ship prescription drugs within the country, Bloomberg reveals.
According to the lawsuit, the company was notified about the ads back in 2003 but it continued to go ahead with them. The lawsuit accuses Google’s board of misleading investors by not disclosing the revenue from unethical and illegal advertisements between 2003 and 2009.
Google said at the time of the settlement that it was wrong to place the advertisements and admitted that it should not have placed the ads in the first place.