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Microsoft, Google, Yahoo to pay $31.5 million over gambling ads

19 Dec 2007

ST. LOUIS, Missouri -- As reported by the Associated Press: "The big three Internet companies have agreed to a combined $31.5 million settlement with the U.S. government for accepting ads promoting illegal online gambling, the U.S. Attorney for eastern Missouri said Wednesday.

"Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc. and Google Inc. also agreed in the settlement to stop accepting ads for sports wagering and other online gambling, U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said. All three said they halted the practice years ago.

"The investigation conducted by Hanaway's office, along with the IRS and the FBI, dates to 2000, she said. Negotiations have been ongoing for the last 12 to 18 months, she said.

"...Microsoft agreed to a $21 settlement. The company will forfeit $4.5 million, provide $7.5 million to the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and provide $9 million in public service ads over a three-year period starting next year.

"...Yahoo's $7.5 settlement includes a $3 million forfeiture and $4.5 million in public service ads over a three-year period..."

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