UPS pays $40M to end online pharmacies probe

SAN FRANCISCO — Shipping company UPS has agreed to pay $40 million to end a federal criminal probe connected to its work for online pharmacies.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday that the Atlanta-based company would also “take steps” to block illicit online drug dealers from using their delivery service.

The DOJ says the fine amount is the money UPS collected from suspect online pharmacies.

UPS won’t be charged with any crimes. Its biggest rival, FedEx Corp., has also been a target of the federal investigation.

The investigation of the two companies stems from a global campaign to shutter illicit online pharmacies launched in 2005. Since then, dozens of arrests have been made and thousands of websites closed worldwide as investigators continue to broaden the probe beyond the operators.

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