October 20th, 2005, 10:15 PM
Spammer Law Suit - $7.5 million in fines.
I hope to see more and more of this. The company had to pay 7.5 mil and the individual had to shell out 750 grand.
By MARK JOHNSON, Associated Press Writer 45 minutes ago
ALBANY, N.Y. - The former chief executive of a company accused of secretly installing adware and spyware on millions of home computers agreed to pay $750,000 in penalties after an investigation, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said Thursday.
In April, Spitzer sued Los Angeles-based Intermix Media Inc., saying the company was responsible for sending software tens of millions of times on computers across the country and three million times in New York.
The company subsequently agreed to pay $7.5 million in penaties to settle the case.
Adware and spyware deliver nuisance pop-up advertisements and can slow and crash personal computers. Spitzer said such programs are fraudulent and threaten to discourage e-commerce.
Shortly after filing the suit, Spitzer's office began investigating Intermix's founder and former CEO Brad Greenspan, Spitzer spokesman Brad Maione said.
Greenspan served as CEO of Intermix from July 2002 to October 2003. Investigators said he directed employees to bundle adware with other free programs and to make the software difficult to remove.
Greenspan did not admit to any wrongdoing in the settlement. His lawyer did not immediately return a call for comment.
Intermix runs a collection of Web sites featuring quizzes, games and jokes that it packages for advertisers.
Spitzer also said that Intermix's agreement to pay $7.5 million in penalties over three years and stop distributing adware programs was approved by state Supreme Court Judge Judith Gische.
Calls to Intermix spokeswoman Sara Jones and company lawyers were not immediately returned.
Intermix affiliate Acez Software also agreed to pay $35,000 to end an investigation by the attorney general's office of its bundling of adware with free screensavers without providing notice to consumers, Spitzer's office said.
In July, News Corp., the media conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch, said it would buy Intermix for $580 million in cash.
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