Search giant Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) will pay $500 million to settle a government investigation into Google’s distribution of online ads for Canadian firms selling prescription and non-prescription drugs illegally in the U.S.

The settlement means Google will not face criminal prosecution.

For more details, read here.

Google operates a major data center in western North Carolina and a software development office in Chapel Hill.

Get the latest news alerts: Follow WRAL Tech Wire at Twitter.