Google fined €220m in France over advertising abuse – BBC News

By Simon Read
Business reporter, BBC News

Technology giant Google has been fined €220m (£189m) by French authorities for abusing its advertising power.
France's competition watchdog said Google has been promoting its own online advertising services to the detriment of rivals.
It found that Google's ad management platform for large publishers, Google Ad Manager, favoured the company's own online ad marketplace, Google AdX.
Google said it would make changes to its advertising business.
The US tech giant has agreed to make it easier for publishers to use its data and tools. "We will be testing and developing these changes over the coming months before rolling them out more broadly, including some globally," the company said.
It is not the first time the company, owned by Alphabet, has been slapped with heavy fines for falling foul of European advertising rules.
Google was fined €1.49bn (£1.28bn) by the EU for blocking rival online search advertisers in 2019.
It was also fined €50m (£44m) in 2019 by the French data regulator CNIL, for a breach of the EU's data protection rules.
The EU competition authority fined the company a record €4.34bn (£3.9bn) fine in 2018 for using its popular Android mobile operating system to block rivals.
That followed a €2.42bn fine in 2017 for hindering rivals of shopping comparison websites.
"The decision to sanction Google is of particular significance because it's the first decision in the world focusing on the complex algorithmic auction processes on which the online ad business relies," said Isabelle de Silva, chief of France's Autorité de la concurrence (Competition Authority).
The watchdog said Google Ad Manager provided AdX with strategic data such as the winning bidding prices, while AdX also enjoyed privileged access to requests made by advertisers via Google's ad services.
Meanwhile, AdX exchanged data more smoothly with Ad Manager than with other advertising management platforms. The platforms are crucial for publishers to manage and sell advertising space.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said: "The practices put in place by Google to favour its own advertising technologies have affected press groups, whose business model is heavily dependent on ad revenues. These are serious practices and they have been rightly sanctioned."
The French authority launched its investigation in 2019 following a joint complaint from News Corp, French news publishing group Le Figaro and Belgian press group Rossel.
It said its decision opens the way for publishers who felt disadvantaged to seek damages from Google.
"While we believe we offer valuable services and compete on the merits, we are committed to working proactively with regulators everywhere to make improvements to our products," said Maria Gomri, legal director, Google France.
Google fined £91m over ad-tracking cookies
Google hit with €1.5bn fine from EU
Three years of GDPR: the biggest fines so far
First foreigners fly out of Kabul since US pull-out
Dozens of people, including 13 UK citizens, take a plane from Kabul to Qatar's capital Doha.
Biden requires vaccines for millions of US workers
The BBC’s Lyse Doucet witnesses the birth of a new Taliban order
Five lessons learned (or not) since 9/11
China's crackdown on K-pop and other fan clubs
India's swimming camels under threat. Video
What has changed in Afghanistan in 20 years
How the world reacted to 9/11. Video
'How falling from a roof inspired me to become a musician'
How 9/11 changed my life forever
Quiz of the week: What did the 'talking' duck say?
Has Silicon Valley learnt from Elizabeth Holmes?
Lyrics quiz
Have you been getting these songs wrong?
Feeling hot
What happens to your body in extreme heat?
Biden requires vaccines for millions of US workers1
First foreigners fly out of Kabul since US pull-out2
Ford is latest firm to stop making cars in India3
Austria man kept dead mother in cellar, police say4
German football star convicted of assaulting ex5
Tube staff warned of anti-mask razor blade posters6
Hong Kong police raid Tiananmen Square museum7
Has Silicon Valley learnt from Elizabeth Holmes?8
Biden administration challenges Texas abortion law9
China's crackdown on K-pop and other fan clubs10
© 2021 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.


You might also like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *