France antitrust authority fines Google €220M for subverting competition
France antitrust authority fines Google €220M for subverting competition

France’s antitrust watchdog fined Google €220 million (USD $268 million) Monday for giving preferential treatment to its own proprietary technologies in digital advertisements.

Complaints about Google advertising practices, filed in September 2019 by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., French newspaper group Le Figaro and Belgium-based Rossel La Voix, prompted the French investigation. Google, the California-based search engine giant, has also drawn the attention of European authorities with its online display advertising business.

Google’s advertising dominance thwarted the rules of fair competition as it deprived publishers of mobile sites and applications from fair industry competition. The French antitrust authority noted:

These practices are harmful as they took place in an emerging and growing market and affected the ability of competitors to innovate and develop. These practices have particularly reduced the advantages of the header bidding process which had been implemented by the supply side platform of AdX on the advertising market with the objectives of remedying the asymmetries in the dynamic allocation functionality and maximize the selling price of the Print on Demand of publishers.

France’s antitrust chief Isabelle de Silva said the decision sanctioning Google “has a very special meaning because it is the first decision in the world to look into complex algorithmic auctions processes through which online display advertising works.”

Google never contested the accusations and expressed its intention to implement changes to its global advertising business so as to avoid abusing its dominance in the future.

This article was translated from English to French by JURIST editor Boutros Imad. To view the translated article in French, click here.
Cet article a été traduit de l’anglais vers le français par l’éditeur de JURIST Boutros Imad. Pour accéder à l’article traduit en français, cliquez ici.