Google’s quarterly earnings filing on Tuesday contained a surprise $500 million charge related for a pending legal settlement to a Department of Justice investigation.
It didn’t say much about the investigation, except that it had something to do with advertising.
Now, the Wall Street Journal reports that the DoJ was looking at Google for accepting “hundreds of millions” of dollars in advertising from online pharmacies that broke U.S. laws.
It’s not clear what law was violated: maybe they were selling counterfeit drugs, or drugs that require a prescription in the U.S. but not in other countries. The pharmacies were based in Canada and other countries.
Last fall, Google filed a lawsuit to prevent rogue pharmacies from posting misleading ads using AdWords.
The Journal says that a settlement is close.
Google declined comment.