Google has set aside $500 million to settle the potential costs of an investigation into its advertising practices by the US Department of Justice.
There are currently few details on what exactly the DoJ is investigating, but Google's financial statements suggest it relates to the way Google's advertising system treats certain advertisers.
The investigation is, however, ongoing and the fact that Google has put such a significant figure to one side confirms the company is taking the threat of potential damages seriously.
“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 31 March 2011,” the company said in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the financial watchdog in the States.
“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 didn't say whether it expected the potential costs to cover payments in fines to the DoJ or damages to advertisers.
Google adjusted its quarterly net income down from $2.3bn to $1.8bn to cover the cost of the legal fund.
The case is the latest in a series of high-level investigations into the way Google runs its businesses, with regulators on both sides of the Atlantic probing alleged anti-competitive practices in the search engine market.
This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk