Google’s $500 Million Charge Linked to Illegal Pharmacy Ads

Google is reportedly nearing a settlement with the American Justice Department over allegations it profited handsomely by accepting ads from illegal online pharmacies that flout U.S. law. Google has made changes to its ad policies in an effort to rid itself of ads from “rogue” pharmacies, and it has even filed suit against such entities, according to the New York Times, which says it’s unclear why the deal seems to be coming now.

Earlier this week, the company disclosed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it has set aside $500 million to cover the costs of a possible settlement, but gave few details. The Mountain View company revised its first-quarter profit from $2.3 billion to $1.8 billion as a result of the charge. Google sold $8.3 billion in ads in the first quarter, says the Associated Press.

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