France Fines Google $267 Million over Advertising Antitrust Abuses

KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/GettyImages
KIMIHIRO HOSHINO/AFP/GettyImages

The French Competition Authority recently announced that it has fined Google 220 million euros ($267 million) for abusing its market power in the online advertising industry.

CNBC reports that the French Competition Authority has fined tech giant Google $267 million over its self-preferential treatment in the online advertising space. The French Competition Authority said Monday that Google had unfairly directed businesses to its own services and discriminated against competitors. Google has agreed to pay the fine and end some of its self-preferential practices.

The investigation found that Google gave preferential treatment to its DFP advertising server which allows publishers of websites and applications to sell advertising space. It was also found that Google’s SSP AdX listing platform, which organizes auction processes and allows publishers to sell “impressions” or advertising inventory to advertisers, unfairly favored Google’s own ads.

In a statement, Isabelle de Silva, president of the French Competition Authority, said that the decision is the first in the world “to look at the complex algorithmic auction processes by which online advertising ‘display’ operates.”

de Silva added that the investigation revealed processes by which Google favored itself over its competitors on both advertising servers and supply-side platforms. “These very serious practices have penalized competition in the emerging online advertising market, and have enabled Google not only to preserve but also to increase its dominant position,” said de Silva.

She added: “This sanction and these commitments will make it possible to re-establish a level playing field for all actors, and the ability of publishers to make the most of their advertising spaces.”

In a blog post on Monday, Google announced that it will be making a number of changes to its advertising technology. Maria Gomri, legal director of Google France, wrote: “We recognize the role that ad tech plays in supporting access to content and information and we’re committed to working collaboratively with regulators and investing in new products and technologies that give publishers more choice and better results when using our platforms.”

Read more at CNBC here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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