Google stashes $500m for fines
Certain that any verdict won't hit profits
Google has set aside $500m to settle the investigation into its advertising practices by US regulators.
The Department of Justice is examining allegations that Google's advertising practices are anti-competitve. The Chocolate Factory made 97 per cent of its revenue from advertising in the first three months of 2011.
The filing says: "In May 2011, in connection with a potential resolution of an investigation by the United States Department of Justice into the use of Google advertising by certain advertisers, we accrued $500m for the three-month period ended March 31, 2011. Although we cannot predict the ultimate outcome of this matter, we believe it will not have a material adverse effect on our business, consolidated financial position, results of operations, or cash flows."
The SEC filing also warns that Google is under investigation in Europe and South Korea for similar allegations. Google's Form 10-Q warns: "We are subject to increased regulatory scrutiny that may negatively impact our business."
The advertising giant is also under investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency in the US for releasing refrigerant from a data centre it bought from DoubleClick, the filing revealed. ®
It's very interesting that a company that goes out of it's way with "We do no evil" is putting money aside for fines.
That to me would infer a company that is not just sailing close to the wind, but is knowingly practicing illegal activities to see how far they can push it.
Which is an awful long way from "we do no evil".
Maybe Google should consider a new mantra, albeit not as catchy:
"We do no evil, unless we can get away with it, or maybe lobby for some new laws to absolve ourselves and our mantra."
Not always. Google = evil? More often than not, it seems lately...
Illegal = Evil