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Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Google is refunding money to publishers whose ads ran against websites that drive fake traffic, The Wall Street Journal's Lara O'Reilly reports . Google's advertising placement arm, DoubleClick Bid Manager, served ads against fake traffic over the course of a few months this year. Google is refunding publishers between 7-10% of their total ad buys, which is likely less than the amount of fraud their ads are exposed to. (Industry estimates put digital ad fraud at anywhere between 10-20% of all digital ads.)

Google is working on ways to automatically rebate clients when Google and their third-party technology partners serve ads next to invalid traffic, which is often ads that don't load right, or ads served to bots instead of people. Google's Director of Product Management for Advertising Scott Spencer tells WSJ that he thinks the hundreds of technology partners Google works with will be supportive of the effort.

Why it matters: Google has been working to combat ad fraud on its platform and through its advertising distribution arm for years. Spencer told Axios in January that it has a team of over 1,000 people regulating bad ads, in an effort to ensure that their platform is a brand safe and efficient platform for advertisers. Google removed 1.7 billion bad ads from its platform last year, according to its 2016 "Bad Ads" report.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Biden reviews U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official told Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Trump supporter found with pipe bombs accused of plot to attack Democrats

Five improvised explosive devices that the FBI says "were fully operational and could cause great bodily harm or injury if handled improperly." Photo: FBI/Justice Department

The FBI believes California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and the Bay Area headquarters of Twitter and Facebook were targets of a man facing federal explosives charges, according to a criminal complaint.

Driving the news: Prosecutors charged Ian Benjamin Rogers after finding weapons including five pipe bombs, 49 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition following a Jan. 15 search of his Napa County home and auto repair business. His alleged goal was to ensure former President Trump remained in office.

6 hours ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."