France’s competition watchdog fined Google 220 million euros ($268 million) on Monday for exploiting its market power in the online advertising industry.
And theShe said French Competition Authority: Google unfairly sent businesses to its services and discriminated against competition.
The agency said Google agreed to pay the fine and end some self-preference practices.
The investigation found that Google gave preferential treatment to its DFP ad server, which allows website and app publishers to sell their ad space.
It also disrupted preferential treatment for the SSP AdX listings platform, which regulates auctions and allows publishers to sell impressions to advertisers.
The regulator said Google’s competitors and publishers had suffered as a result.
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The head of the French competition authority noted that the decision is the first of its kind in the world that looks at the complex algorithmic auction processes through which online ads operate.
She added that the investigation revealed the processes through which Google favored itself over its competitors through ad servers and display platforms.
Publishers use these servers and platforms to manage, sell and improve ad space across their websites and mobile apps.
The authority said: These practices stifled competition in the emerging online advertising market, and enabled Google to maintain and strengthen its dominant position.
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Google is changing its approach:
And Google announced in a blog post today, Monday, that it is making a series of changes to its advertising technology.
“We understand the role that advertising technology plays in supporting access to content and information,” she wrote. We are committed to working collaboratively with regulators. We are committed to investing in new products and technologies that give publishers more choices and better results when using our platforms.
The investigation came after US-based News Corp, French newspaper Le Figaro and Belgian newspaper group Roussel filed a complaint against Google.
Regulators across Europe are cracking down on tech giants amid fears that they wield too much influence over the European Union’s more than 700 million citizens.
Last week, Facebook came under antitrust investigation from regulators in the UK and Europe.
The European Commission has launched investigations against Amazon, Google and Microsoft over the past few years. While the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has also launched investigations against Apple and Google since it became an independent regulator in January after Brexit.
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