Current Weather
The Spy FM

Google Forking Over $500 Million In Online Pharmacy Ad Settlement

Filed by KOSU News in Business.
August 24, 2011

It’s official. Google has agreed to settle a federal probe into ads it ran for online Canadian pharmacies by forfeiting $500 million.

The settlement had been widely anticipated since May, when the online powerhouse disclosed it had set aside that amount “in connection with a potential resolution of an investigation by the United States Department of Justice into the use of Google advertising by certain advertisers.”

As a result of the settlement, the search giant won’t face any criminal charges, the Associated Press reports.

The problem, according to the feds, is that as far back as 2003, Google knew that online Canadian pharmacies were advertising prescription drugs to people in the U.S. using key words the pharmacies paid to be near. “Although Google took steps to block pharmacies in countries other than Canada from advertising in the U.S. through AdWords, they continued to allow Canadian pharmacy advertisers to target consumers in the United States,” the Justice Department said in a statement.

Some of those U.S. residents then went on to import prescription drugs, which DOJ said “is almost always unlawful.”

In response to a request from Shots, a Google spokesman emailed this statement:

We banned the advertising of prescription drugs in the U.S. by Canadian pharmacies some time ago. However, it’s obvious with hindsight that we shouldn’t have allowed these ads on Google in the first place..

For more on the ad practices and the investigation, see BNET’s Jim Edwards’ May post with more details. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

Leave a Reply

5AM to 9AM Morning Edition

Morning Edition

For more than two decades, NPR's Morning Edition has prepared listeners for the day ahead with two hours of up-to-the-minute news, background analysis, commentary, and coverage of arts and sports.

Listen Live Now!

9AM to 10AM The Takeaway

The Takeaway

A fresh alternative in morning news, "The Takeaway" provides a breadth and depth of world, national and regional news coverage that is unprecedented in public media.

View the program guide!

10AM to 11PM On Point

On Point

On Point unites distinct and provocative voices with passionate discussion as it confronts the stories that are at the center of what is important in the world today. Leaving no perspective unchallenged, On Point digs past the surface and into the core of a subject, exposing each of its real world implications.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center