(Adds comment from Google in paragraph 4)
By Dan Levine
SAN FRANCISCO Aug 8 Google Inc has
agreed to create a $250 million internal program to disrupt
rogue online pharmacies as part of a deal to end shareholder
litigation over accusations the search company improperly
allowed ads from non-U.S. drug sellers.
Google said it would make content about prescription drug
abuse more visible and work with legitimate pharmacies to
counter marketing by rogue sellers, documents filed in an
Oakland, California federal court on Thursday showed.
Google will allocate and spend at least $50 million a year
to the internal effort for at least five years under the
settlement. The company has also agreed to pay $9.9 million in
fees and expenses to plaintiff attorneys.
"We've been investing very significantly to fight rogue
online pharmacies, and have stopped millions of ads from
appearing," a Google spokesman said in an email. "This
settlement will continue and expand these ongoing efforts to
keep users safe online."
Shareholders sued Google and its board in 2011 after the
company reached a settlement with the government over the issue.
The case in U.S. District Court, Northern District of
California is In re Google Inc Shareholder Derivative
(Reporting by Dan Levine; Editing by Richard Chang and Andrew