Starbucks will pay $2.5bn in fines and interest to the U.S. government, the company said Thursday.
The announcement comes amid growing concerns that the fast-food giant’s sales of caffeinated beverages and other snacks could contribute to the rise in obesity rates in the U., where the nation’s fast food industry employs a third of its workforce.
The fines announced by the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission will be paid out in two installments over five years.
The Justice Department’s penalty includes $500m for violations related to the sale of caffeination drinks and $1bn for violations involving other products.
The government said the fines will be used to improve the marketing and packaging of caffeinate beverages, such as the drinks in Starbucks’ own coffee and other beverages.
The Justice and the SEC’s fines come in response to the investigation that resulted in the settlements of more than 2,000 civil claims and $30bn in total.
More than 1.1 billion people worldwide have diabetes, according to the United Nations.
The Starbucks settlement with the U-S.
Department of Justice is one of several that the department has announced in recent months in an effort to reduce the risk of new cases of the disease.
The settlement is a significant step in the right direction, but the agency’s actions to reduce such cases have not stopped the growth of the problem.