Microsoft, Google and Yahoo! have agreed to pay out a total of $31.5m (£15.75m) to settle allegations that they promoted illegal online gambling operations. The three companies were accused of receiving money from online gambling businesses to advertise illegal betting between 1997 and 2007.
Without admitting or denying liability, the trio agreed to pay cash to the US government. Microsoft will pay $21m (£10.5m), Yahoo! will contribute $7.5m (£3.75m) and Google will pay $3m (£1.5m).
Microsoft and Yahoo! will also provide public service ads informing young adults and teenagers that internet gambling is illegal.
The deals come as part of a long-running US crackdown on internet gambling.
In November 2006, UK gambling companies were banned from accepting online bets from Americans causing a number of companies such as Sportingbet, 888 Holdings and PartyGaming to suffer catastrophic drops in profits.