Google net income down as it sets aside $500M for advertising probe

Google net income down as it sets aside $500M for advertising probe

Google said it has set aside $500 million to potentially settle US probe into the company’s lucrative Google’s online advertising system.

The documents provided few details except that the investigation involved how some unnamed advertisers used Google’s advertising network. Google said in the filing:

“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 $500 million for the three month period ended March 31, 2011.”

The search giant’s quarterly net income was reduced to $1.8 billion, or $5.51 a share from the previously reported $2.3 billion, or $7.04 a share for the first quarter according to its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

However, Google reassures the charge will not have a material adverse effect on the company’s business, consolidated financial position, results of operations, or cash flows, despite admitting its inability to predict the ultimate outcome of the Department of Justice’s investigation.

Google did not provide any further details about the investigation in the filing.

Read next: US in new push to break China's Internet censorship

Shh. Here's some distraction

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