Google has been fined $500 million (Â£306m) for publishing online adverts from Canadian pharmacies to sell illegal drugs to US customers.
By agreeing to pay the hefty fine, the internet giants have avoided being prosecuted in America for profiting from the adverts.
US Federal investigators said that the $500 million fine represented Google’s revenues from the illegal adverts and the revenues that they had generated from the sale of the drug.
“While Canada has its own regulatory rules for prescription drugs, Canadian pharmacies that ship prescription drugs to the US residents are not subject to Canadian Regulatory authority and many sell drugs obtained from countries other than Canada which lack adequate pharmacy rules. the higher price of drugs reflect that some can be bought without a doctors prescription”, said the US Justice Department.
Google admitted that it should not have allowed the adverts to have been published:
“We banned the advertising of prescription drugs in the US by Canadian pharmacies sometime ago, however, it is obvious that with hindsight we should not have allowed these ads on Google in the first place”, said Google.