ST. LOUIS - Microsoft, Google and Yahoo! will pay a total of $31.5 million to settle the Department of Justice's claims that they promoted illegal gambling with online ads from 1997 to 2007.

 

The settlements call for payments of $21 million from Microsoft, $7.5 million from Yahoo! and $3 million from Google.

 

"These sums add to the over $40 million in forfeitures and back taxes this office has already recovered in recent years from operators of these remote-control illegal gambling enterprises," said U.S. Attorney Catherine L. Hanaway. "Honest taxpayers and gambling-industry personnel who do follow the law suffer from those who promote illegal online behavior."

 

The settlements also order Microsoft and Yahoo! to provide free online advertising for public-service campaigns designed to inform young people that online gambling is illegal in the United States.