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August 29, 2011 / Steve Hennigs

Thoughts on the Google Settlement

I have a love/hate relationship with Google.  On one hand they do provide an incredibly helpful search engine with a number of other tools that I benefit from.  On the other hand they (along with Apple which I love/love) may be the closest thing to a monopoly that my generation has ever seen.

Last week confirmation was given to another reason why I hate Google, they do whatever they want and have the money to buy their way out of bad situations when they arise.

In a story first broken by the Wall Street Journal it has come to light that Google knowingly allowed a number of Canadian pharmacies (both licensed and unlicensed) to advertise on the Google Search Engine.  This is bad because these ads possibly and in some cases did violate US law and FDA Regulations.  You can see a great summary of the story at Search Engine Land.

This news led to a few points of frustration for me.

  1. What other laws is Google knowingly breaking?
  2. Why is it ok for Google to pay a fine (albeit one of the largest in US history) rather than face criminal charges?
  3. Is this part of a much larger problem in which Google is receiving payment for other such advertising?
  4. Is this just a one-time mistake and nothing more?

I believe that these questions will get answered as the story continues to unfold.  For now it is just one more check in the “hate Google” column for me.  What do you think?

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