The company is so unconcerned about U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the use of Google advertising by certain advertisers, that the company didn't even mention the probe in its earning press release, but rather dropped it as an afterthought into a routine SEC filing of its quarterly earnings.
The revelation, found by astute media looking deeper into the company's filing, stoked headlines about Google "bracing" for a "big charge."
Hah! For a company that raked in $6.5 billion in sales last quarter, a $500 million charge is a nothing.Google said as much in its filing: "we believe it will not have a material adverse effect on our business." Google also mentioned in the filing that it's being audited by the IRS and other tax authorities -- regulators owe some thanks to Bloomberg for pointing out back in October that "Google uses a complicated structure to send most of its overseas profits to tax havens, keeping its (overseas) corporate rate at a super-low 2.4%." Yawn. And then there's the Federal Trade Commission antitrust probe into Google's influence in the search market, revealed by Bloomberg last month. Another yawn. Remember the minor FTC flap over Buzz? Didn't think so. How about yesterday's Senate hearing on mobile privacy, where folks from Google and Apple (AAPL) testified about what they do with consumer data they collect. Were you riveted to C-SPAN? Me either.
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