Unlawful pharmacy adverts cost Google $500m

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Google has agreed to a half-a-billion-dollar settlement with the US government for allowing online Canadian pharmacies to place ads targeting American consumers that led to unlawful prescription drug imports.

The $500m (£305m) sum represents the gross revenues earned by the California-based search engine giant as a result of the ads, plus the revenues netted by the Canadian pharmacies from their sales to US customers.

"The Department of Justice will continue to hold accountable companies who in their bid for profits violate federal law and put at risk the health and safety of American consumers," the Deputy US Attorney General, James Cole, said.