November 16, 2012

Judge leaning toward OK of $22.5M fine of Google

The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in San Francisco says she is leaning toward approving a government settlement that will require Google to pay a $22.5 million fine to resolve allegations that it duped Web surfers using the Safari browser so it could track their online activities.

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FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, file photo, people attend a workshop, "New York Get Your Business Online," at Google offices in New York. Google Inc.'s stock plunged suddenly on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, after a contractor prematurely released the search company's third-quarter earnings report. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Federal Trade Commission reached the agreement with Google Inc. in August, but court approval is still needed.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston indicated during a court hearing Friday that she will approve the settlement. The hearing gave a consumer rights group a final opportunity to persuade Illston to scuttle the agreement on the grounds that it doesn't do enough to prevent Google from future misconduct.

Illston brushed off most of the misgivings raised by Consumer Watchdog. She didn't say when she will issue a ruling.

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