• Wednesday, Aug 04, 2021
  • Last Update : 07:16 pm

France fines Google €220 million over online ad dominance

  • Published at 08:26 pm June 7th, 2021
Google
File photo: A sign is pictured outside a Google office near the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, US, May 8, 2019 Reuters

The penalty is part of a settlement reached after three media groups — News Corp, French daily Le Figaro, and Belgium's Groupe Rosse

France's competition regulator on Monday fined Google €220 million after finding it had abused its dominant market position for placing online ads.

The penalty is part of a settlement reached after three media groups — News Corp, French daily Le Figaro, and Belgium's Groupe Rossel — accused Google of effectively having a monopoly over ad sales for their websites and apps.

The competition authority determined that Google gave preferential treatment to its own ad inventory auction service AdX and to Doubleclick Ad Exchange, its real-time platform for letting clients choose and buy ads.

“It is the first ruling in the world to scrutinize the complex algorithmic processes for the auctions that determine online 'display' advertising,” the authority's president Isabelle de Silva said.

Media groups looking to sell ad space on their internet sites or mobile apps using rival platforms often found that Google's services were unfairly competing against rivals, using a variety of methods.

For example, regulators found that Doubleclick would vary the commission it took when making a sale based on prices offered by other so-called ad servers.

Similarly, Google arranged for AdX, its own supply-side platform (SSP), to give preferential treatment to offers emanating from Doubleclick — effectively squeezing out competitors such as Xandr or Index Exchange.

“The practices are particularly serious because they are penalizing Google's competitors in the SSP market as well as the editors of websites and mobile apps,” the regulator said in a statemen

‘First in the world’

Media groups saw their online ad revenues crippling “even as their business model has been strongly undermined by the decline in paper subscriptions and the associated drop in advertising revenue,” it said.

Le Figaro eventually dropped its complaint.

Google did not contest the findings, and the regulator said the company has committed to operational changes including improved interoperability with third-party ad placement providers.

“We are going to test and develop these changes in the coming months before deploying them more broadly, including some on a global scale,” Maria Gomri, legal director at Google France, said in a statement.

The fine represents just a tiny fraction of the $55.3 billion in revenue booked by Google in the first quarter of this year alone, mainly from online ad sales.

The ruling comes as American technology firms are drawing closer scrutiny from European authorities, which are giving themselves new resources to better understand the complex workings of fast-evolving markets.

Last week, Germany's competition regulator said it was expanding an antitrust investigation into Google and its parent company Alphabet to include Google News Showcase, a service aimed at increasing revenue for media publishers.

Facebook also found itself targeted last week by parallel competition inquiries from the European Union and Britain, into whether the social media giant uses data from advertisers to unfairly dominate the online classifieds market.

Google had already been fined 150 million euros by the French regulator in December 2019 over “opaque” operating rules for its advertising platform, which were deemed to be applied in “an unfair and random manner.”

In December last year, Google as well as Amazon were fined a total of 135 million euros by France's privacy watchdog for placing advertising cookies on users' computers without consent.

53
Facebook 51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail