Net Firms to Pay $31 Million for Illegal Gambling Ads

Uncle Sam and at least one charity are getting an early Christmas present courtesy of Microsoft Corp., Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc., which have agreed to fork over a combined $31 million to settle claims that they promoted illegal online gambling, a federal prosecutor announced. The three companies have cut a deal with Catherine Hanaway, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, under which they'll pay up but neither admit nor contest charges that they received advertising money from online-gambling operations.

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