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Published: Thursday, 5/12/2011

Google puts $500M aside to settle Justice ad case

BLADE STAFF AND NEWS SERVICES

Google Inc. set aside $500 million related to the possible resolution of a U.S. Justice Department investigation of its advertising business, resulting in lower first-quarter profit.

The expense trimmed net income to $1.8 billion in the period, Google said in a regulatory filing. The Mountain View, Calif., company had reported first-quarter profit of $2.3 billion last month.

“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,” Google said.

The Justice Department is investigating the use of Google ads by “certain advertisers,” Google said. Aaron Zamost, a spokesman for the company, declined to comment on the disclosure.



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