Google sets aside $500 million for antitrust fight

Search engine outfit Google has set aside $500 million which it hopes will be enough to make the US Justice department’s probe into the company’s online advertising practices go away.

In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Google mentioned that in May 2011, there was a potential resolution of an investigation by the United States Department of Justice into the use of Google advertising by certain advertisers.

As a result of this investigation, it seems that Google believes it is wise to stick a few more coins into its piggy bank.

Google said the charge will not have a material adverse effect on the company’s business, but it did say that it could not predict the ultimate outcome of the Department of Justice’s investigation. When asked by Reuters, Google refused to comment.

However Google has been attracting the attention of the antitrust cops lately. It had to walk away from a search deal with Yahoo in 2008 when the Justice Department pointed out that it had not a bat’s chance in hell of being allowed.

Google rivals have been moaning about the search engine’s antics in areas like price comparison websites.

Copyright cops in the US and Europe are investigating allegations that Google is seeking to hurt their businesses by making them hard to find in searches.