June 15, 2021

France fined Google 220 million for abuse of position in online advertising


PARIS

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The French Competition Authority has imposed a penalty of 220 million euros on Google, which has been accepted by the multinational, for abusing its dominant position in the ad server market for website publishers and mobile applications. The French Authority’s investigation into Google’s practices came after complaints raised in 2019 by the News Corp group, as well as the editor of the newspaper ‘Le Figaro’ and the Belgian group Rossel La Voix.

The
popular Internet search engine has not questioned the facts raised and has proposed a series of commitments
, accepted by the French antitrust authority, which will change the way their DFP advertising service works, which allows site and app publishers to sell their advertising space, and its AdX sales platform, which organizes the auction process.

“The decision to sanction Google has a very special meaning because it is the first decision in the world to investigate complex algorithmic processes,” said Isabelle de Silva, president of the French Competition Authority.

In this sense, De Silva has highlighted that the investigation revealed processes by which Google, taking advantage of its considerable dominance in ad servers for sites and applications, had
carried out practices that penalized competition in the emerging online advertising market
and they allowed the multinational not only to maintain but also to increase its dominant position.

«This sanction and these commitments allow to restore a level playing field for all players and the ability of publishers to make the most of their advertising space, “he added.

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