Google Reportedly Reaches $500 Million Settlement with the US Government

It was reported Wednesday that US regulators are poised to announce a $500 million settlement with Google pertaining to longstanding charges related to advertisements for illegal online pharmacies.

According to published reports dating back to spring, the pharmacies that participated in Google ads “were operating outside the law, leading to a Department of Justice investigation into Google’s advertising practices.”

Tech Crunch confirmed in its coverage of the developing story that the federal investigation began in May when government officials first endeavored to determine how these “illegal ads” began turning up in Google’s search results.

“As we and others build new safeguards and guidelines, rogue online pharmacies always try new tactics to get around those protections and illegally sell drugs on the web,” Google openly acknowledged last September 21, 2010. “In recent years, we have noticed a marked increase in the number of rogue pharmacies, as well an increasing sophistication in their methods. This has meant that despite our best efforts—from extensive verification procedures, to automated keyword blocking, to changing our ads policies—a small percentage of pharma ads from these rogue companies is still appearing on Google.”

The US Government, however, isn’t going to accept that anyone outside of Google can be held totally accountable. As a result, the feds appear to be holding Google responsible – a move that is going to cost Google a half-billion dollars.