View Full Version : Feds fine Google $500 million

08-24-2011, 04:17 PM
Google agreed to forfeit $500 million for helping online Canadian pharmacies to reach American consumers by letting the drug companies place advertisements through its AdWords programs, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

The $500 million settlement with DOJ is one of the largest forfeiture penalties ever in the United States, the department said. Google acknowledged as part of the deal that it “improperly assisted Canadian online pharmacy advertisers to run advertisements that targeted the United States through AdWords.”

It is unlawful, in the majority of cases, to import prescription drugs from pharmacies outside the U.S. because it’s likely to violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and or the Controlled Substances Act.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0811/61989.html#ixzz1VzGch7wY

And people wonder why drugs are so expensive? No competition allowed.

Austrian Econ Disciple
08-24-2011, 04:22 PM
What are you talking about -- protectionism creates jobs and is better for the economy. /snark

08-24-2011, 04:27 PM
Should they also be held liable for the advertisements which are permitted through their mail system? I'm guessing the "assistance" came in the form of Adwords' automated ad creation software not discriminating against people who want to advertise outside their country.

I wonder how they pulled the figure of half a billion out of their ass. Wasn't enough just to warn them so they put a few lines of code in to disallow international advertising when the advertiser registers as a pharmaceutical company...

08-24-2011, 04:31 PM
I'd be shocked if Google really pays the fine though.

08-24-2011, 04:35 PM
So, Google fined themselves with money from themselves.

08-24-2011, 04:42 PM
I am no fan of the borg but this is not right, government scum. The good thing is maybe it will wake up some folks up at Google to what this government and the one party system made up of Neocons and Progressives is all about.

08-24-2011, 04:44 PM
So, Google fined themselves with money from themselves.
The irony.

08-24-2011, 05:00 PM
So, Google fined themselves with money from themselves.

I read the article, maybe I missed it, but how do you come up with that statement?

I don't understand... Google is paying themselves? Its not really a fine then... (but I didn't see anything in the article to suggest this)

08-24-2011, 07:29 PM
So, Google fined themselves with money from themselves.I think it's more of: FEDS US Pharmaceutical Industry Fines Google $500 Million for exposing Cheaper Drugs from Canada.

Those bastards in Washington DC SOLD US OUT to Big Pharma in 2007 when the US Senate Axed the Cheap Import Drug Act of 2007(it passed the house). It was another weaseling of Republicans, Yes Republican Senators submitting counter-legislation to say import drugs from Canada, Britian, France, and Germany are unsafe. Of course it was the Big US Pharmaceuticaql industry that bought off the US Senate. AND... to assist the tainted garbage coming in from China, the pharmaceutical industry gave the Food and Drug Administration(FDA) a BRIBE uh payment of $350 million to protect us, which of course jacked prescription drugs prices in the US by $350 million.

08-24-2011, 08:33 PM
Advertising illegal activities should not be illegal. That is ridiculous. So is the whole idea of FDA approval and prescriptions though.

09-01-2011, 08:00 AM
Believe it or not, Google actually DID verify the pharmacies and the companies which had their advertising cut off were legitimate.

"While the Justice Department spun the taking of $500 million from Google (http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110824/14531015667/justice-department-to-protect-pharma-profits-well-just-take-money-google.shtml) as an important step in "protecting Americans," the reality appears to be that it's doing exactly the opposite. While there certainly may be some online pharmacies that sell fake and fraudulent (and potentially dangerous) drugs, the government is conveniently conflating those scammers with legitimate drugs reimported to the US as gray market imports. Those are still legitimate drugs, but are just more reasonably priced. In such cases, a very strong argument can be made for the fact that these drugs do a ton to "protect Americans" by allowing them to stay healthy at a more reasonable price. This is why President Obama repeatedly claimed that he was in favor of reimportation (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124700977149808565.html) and why there's a bill going through Congress, as we speak, to allow more of it. So, it still makes no sense why the administration -- which officially supports greater reimportation -- would go after Google because some pharmacies used reimportation.


[From Pres. of Canadian Pharma company] Many of our customers first found us through a Google ad. Jan Drugs is blessed to have had over 100,000 American customers order from us over the years. Our customers universally have ordered medicines from us because they were prescribed a prescription drug that they found prohibitively expensive in the US. Jan Drugs is proud that we have helped many peoples lives by helping them find the prescription drugs they need at prices they can afford. Jan Drugs sells medications for conditions including depression, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, cancer and epilepsy. Jan Drugs and it's customers take the position that it is ridiculous to accept that uninsured or underinsured Americans should be expected to pay higher prices than everywhere else in the world.

When Google first cancelled our advertising account we were disappointed. We believed that Google's existing pharmacy verification program should have been strengthened rather than cancelled and that the end of the verification program made the internet a more dangerous place for Americans to find their needed medications. Our pharmacy willingly participated in Google’s chosen certification program, PharmacyChecker, which was required for Jan Drugs to advertise the sale of non-controlled prescription drugs through AdWords to U.S. consumers. Now that we see that Google has paid a very large forfeiture, partly for accepting advertising for companies like Jan Drugs, we understand why you took the position you did.

Jan Drugs believes that access to reliable and affordable medication is a right. We and companies like Jan Drugs have helped millions of Americans save on their prescription medications over the internet in the same way as if they had personally visited us in Canada. Google should be proud of its' previous efforts to make the internet a safer place to purchase medications as millions have benefited and Jan Drugs believes that Google being fined is against the interests of Americans and morally wrong.


Full letter and commentary @ http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110830/17182115744/canadian-pharmacies-react-to-us-govt-taking-500-million-google-over-their-ads.shtml