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FedEx, UPS under online drug shipment investigation

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FedEx and UPS are under investigation by the FBI due to allegations of their dealings with online pharmacies.

The Associated Press reports that America's two largest shipping companies are now part of a criminal probe relating to their practices when it comes down to dealings with online pharmacies.

As part of a nationwide crackdown on prescription pharmacy abuse, questions have been raised concerning whether FedEx and UPS services are used by illegal prescription sellers to transport their products.

A federal investigation launched in 2005 resulted in thousands of drug-selling websites being taken offline, multiple arrests, and millions of pills seized across the globe, and has now resulted in a close look at the shipping companies' practices.

FedEx spokesman Patrick Fitzgerald confirmed the investigation to the AP, adding that the scrutiny is based on issues "related to the transportation of packages for online pharmacies." Calling it "absurd", he says that FedEx has done no wrong, and the firm does not intend to bargain or settle with the Department of Justice.

UPS disclosed the probe in a regulatory filing this month, stating that it would cooperate and is "exploring the possibility of resolving this matter."

Last year, tech giant Google agreed to settle allegations by the DOJ that it profited from advertising placed by illegal online pharmacies, and was required to pay $500 million.

Image credit: Bill Brooks

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— By on November 15, 2012, 11:57 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure