25 Aug, 2011
$500m online drug advertising fine for internet giant
Google has avoided criminal prosecution by agreeing to pay a $500m fine for advertising illegal drugs online from pharmacies in Canada to customers in the US. If it had not agreed to the fine, Google would have been prosecuted for profiting from the offending advertisements.
Google admitted that the adverts should not have been shown, saying in a statement: “We banned the advertising of prescription drugs in the US by Canadian pharmacies some time ago.
“However, it’s obvious with hindsight that we should not have allowed these ads on Google in the first place.”
Commenting on the issue, The US Justice Department said: “While Canada has its own regulatory rules for prescription drugs, Canadian pharmacies that ship prescription drugs to US residents are not subject to Canadian regulatory authority, and many sell drugs obtained from countries other than Canada which lack adequate pharmacy regulations,” according to the BBC.
The fine amount of $500m reflects the Google’s revenues from the adverts and the revenues generated from the sale of the drugs, according to federal investigators.