Google settles pharmacy charges for $500 million: report

Google Inc will pay $500 million to settle government charges that it showed ads for pharmacies that operate illegally, regulators are expected to announce on Wednesday, according to a report in the New York Times.

The investigation by the United States Department of Justice was revealed by Google in May, when the company disclosed in a regulatory filing that it had set aside $500 million for a potential settlement of a federal investigation into its advertising practices.

Media reports at the time said the investigation concerned ads for online pharmacies that sold counterfeit drugs or that sold drugs to buyers who didn't have prescriptions.

Google did not immediately return a request for comment.

The United States Attorney's office in Rhode Island, which has led the investigation, is expected to make the announcement at a press conference on Wednesday, according to the New York Times.

[Source: Reuters, San Francisco, 24Aug11]

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