Google Pharmaceuticals SettlementAn odd line item appeared on Google’s Q-10 form this week. As is turns out, the eyebrow-raising $500 million has been earmarked for a potential impending settlement with the Department of Justice.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Google “is close to settling a U.S. criminal investigation into allegations it made hundreds of millions of dollars by accepting ads from online pharmacies that break U.S. laws.”

It is not unprecedented for search engines to be held liable if they are found to be profiting from illegal activity. It remains to be proven to what extent Google knowingly allowed this activity to occur however. But, with a settlement that equates more than 20% of their bottom line, you can be sure that this is one case that Google’s stockholders will be watching closely.

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