Home News Google Inc profits from illegal ads for London 2012 Olympic tickets and fake IDs
Google Inc profits from illegal ads for London 2012 Olympic tickets and fake IDs
Tuesday, 10 January 2012 09:24

News round up: Google, Financial transaction tax, Greece, business confidence and banks.

Google Inc
(NASDAQ:GOOG) is profiting from ads for illegal products generated by its flagship automated advertising system, the BBC has found. The ads include unofficial London 2012 Olympics ticket resellers, as well as cannabis and fake ID card sellers.

These ads were promptly removed by Google after the BBC brought them to the company's attention. Google has also taken down links to illegal Olympic ticket resellers following requests from the police. But the search giant told 5 live Investigates that the company keeps any money it might make from companies advertising illegal services before such adverts are removed.

Selling tickets on the open market without permission from the Olympic authorities is a criminal offence in the UK under the London Olympic and Paralympic Games Act 2006, writes BBC News.  

Financial transaction tax

Angela Merkel has warned that German support for the financial transaction tax (FTT) is not guaranteed, in a move that could open up a rift with France just days before the next European summit. The German Chancellor said she supported French President Nicolas Sarkozy's demand to introduce the controversial tax but that her government was split.

"We don't have an agreement on this within the government, but personally I will campaign for [the tax]," she said. At a pre-summit meeting with Mrs Merkel in Berlin, Mr Sarkozy, who faces elections in April, insisted the tax remained a top priority. He said he would present plans for a separate French FTT by the end of January. "If we don't show the example, it will not be done," The Telegraph says.


Europe’s top political double act yesterday warned Greece that vital rescue funds would be held back until it completes a deal over the size of losses to be imposed on private investors.

In a sign that patience is running out with Athens, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel branded Greece a “special case” after talks in Berlin yesterday, which some analysts suggested could be a prelude to its eventual exit from the 17-nation eurozone. “We must see progress on the voluntary restructuring of Greek debt,” Ms Merkel told a joint news conference with Mr Sarkozy, writes The Times.

Business confidence

The Government must act now to repair the blow to business confidence dealt by the Eurozone debt crisis, or risk an even greater setback for Britain's ailing economy, the British Chambers of Commerce warned. The BCC said in its latest quarterly survey that although a technical recession with two successive quarters of negative growth was "not a foregone conclusion", at least one quarter of contraction was very likely in the first half of 2012.

"Britain's economy is at a critical stage – and now is not the time to shy away from the radical decisions needed to inspire confidence and increased investment for years to come," said John Longworth, the BCC's director general, according to The Telegraph.


Banks have signalled 'significant change' in attempting to squeeze greater profits out of the gap between mortgage and savings rates in 2012, a report suggested today. The Industry Sentiment Financial Services Survey also warned of a plunge in confidence among Britain's building societies, a sector that has been seen as key in offering an alternative to banks.

The report by the CBI and PricewaterhouseCoopers, which covers the final three months of 2011, said there was now 'overwhelming pessimism' in the mutuals sector, with the index recording a balance of -97% feeling less confident about their business situation. The previous study, in September recorded it at -5%, The Daily mail reports.

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