writes "The Wall Street Journal reports that 'Google Inc. is close to settling a US criminal investigation into allegations it made hundreds of millions of dollars by accepting ads from online pharmacies that break US laws.' Google's acceptance of ads from unlicensed 'online pharmacies' is considered profiting from illegal activity. The Washington Post reports 'the inquiry could draw more attention to how vulnerable Google's automated system has been to the machinations of shady operators.'"
The expected settlement's magnitude was hinted at in a recent SEC filing, which disclosed that Google has set aside a half-billion dollar fund on which to draw
in this case.