$500 million Paid By Google Just For the Justice Department

Thursday, August 25th 2011. | Internet News

Google, the 800-pound gorilla in the cyber world, is going to to be a little lighter in the pocket as a result of some wrongdoing. Google has agreed to forfeit to the Justice Department $500 million for allowing online Canadian pharmacies to illegaly pedal prescription drugs, authorities announced Wednesday. The Justice Department said the pharmacies placed ads through Google’s AdWords program and targeted U.S. consumers, resulting in the unlawful importation of controlled and non-controlled prescription drugs into the U.S.

The Justice Department noted that shipment of prescription drugs from pharmacies outside the United States to customers in the United States typically violates the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and in the case of controlled prescription drugs , the Controlled Substances Act. Authorities say they cannot assure the safety of drugs outside of the U.S. Authorities said Google was aware as early as 2003, that generally, it was illegal for pharmacies to ship controlled and non-controlled prescription drugs into the United States from Canada. “This investigation is about the patently unsafe, unlawful, importation of prescription drugs by Canadian on-line pharmacies, with Google’s knowledge and assistance, into the United States, directly to U.S. consumers,” said Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha.

“It is about taking a significant step forward in limiting the ability of rogue on-line pharmacies from reaching U.S. consumers, by compelling Google to change its behavior. It is about holding Google responsible for its conduct by imposing a $500 million forfeiture, the kind of forfeiture that will not only get Google’s attention, but the attention of all those who contribute to America’s pill problem.”

In a statement published in the Boston Globe, Google said: “While we banned the advertising of prescription drugs in the US by Canadian pharmacies some time ago, it’s obvious with hindsight that we shouldn’t have allowed these ads on Google in the first place.

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