Thursday, 20 Dec, 2007 Technology

Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft Fined for Advertising On-line Gambling


Three major players in the IT industry agreed to pay $31.5 million to resolve claims of the U.S. Justice Department that they promoted illegal gambling.

This settlement was called upon to resolve the claims of the government that the three companies promoted Internet gambling in the period between 1997 and 2007. The U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of Missouri said that this fact was a violation of the Federal Wire Wager Act, a violation of the wagering excise tax laws and other statutes and municipal laws that prohibited gambling in various states.

Thus Microsoft is to pay $21 million, from which $7.5 million will go to the International Center for Missing and Exploited Children, $9 million will be spent on informing the online public that online gambling is illegal. The Wall Street Journal reported that Microsoft was accused of profiting from advertising various online gambling businesses.

Yahoo! and Google are to pay $7.5 and $3 million respectively. A part of Yahoo!'s fine ($4.5 million) was assigned for a campaign similar to Microsoft's.

None of the hi-tech companies admitted or rejected the claims; moreover, they claimed to have stopped profiting from online gambling promotion nearly four years ago.

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