Providence, R.I.—Google has agreed to forfeit $500 million for allowing Canadian pharmacies to place AdWords advertisements that resulted in the unlawful importing of prescription drugs into the U.S. The announcement of the deal was made by Deputy U.S. Attorney General James M. Cole; Peter F. Neronha, U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island; and Kathleen Martin-Weis, acting director of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Office of Criminal Investigations.
“This settlement ensures that Google will reform its improper advertising practices with regard to these pharmacies while paying one of the largest financial forfeiture penalties in history,” Cole said in a statement.
In a statement a Google spokesperson said, “This settlement has already received extensive coverage as a result of our earlier filing back in May. However, we'd like to make clear that, while we banned the advertising of prescription drugs in the U.S. 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.”