Google fined $475m over pharmaceutical ads

GOOGLE Inc has agreed to pay $475 million as a penalty for carrying ads for Canadian pharmaceutical firms, following an investigation by the US government.

The internet search giant's online ads allowed Canadian pharmacies to illegally sell prescription and non-prescription drugs to consumers in the US, in violation of local drug and other laws.

Prescription drugs shipped from Canada are not subject to oversight by Canadian regulatory authorities, and many drugs are sold from countries with inadequate pharmacy regulations, prosecutors said.

Federal officials say Google knew as early as 2003 of the illegal

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