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Quick Hit: Google Settles Canadian Pharma Investigation with Government for $500 Million

Last week Google announced it settled the US investigation into its advertisement practices in which Canadian pharmaceutical companies and resellers were able to target US citizens through Google Adwords.

Google has long denied liability, but in the settlement agreement, Google did not just give up $500 million – it also took the unusual step of admitting liability.

Worse still, the WSJ reports that the Government is convinced that Larry Page knew of the illegal practices for years, yet allowed them to continue.

The money quote from the article:

“Larry Page knew what was going on,” Peter Neronha, the Rhode Island U.S. Attorney who led the probe, said in an interview. “We know it from the investigation. We simply know it from the documents we reviewed, witnesses that we interviewed, that Larry Page knew what was going on.”

This would help explain why Google settled for such a large amount and admitted liability.

EDIT: The WSJ notes that individuals could still be subject to prosecution, though that is unlikely.

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