France Fines Google for Abuse of Ad Power

The French Competition Authority has announced on Monday that it has fined Google 220 million euros ($267 million) for abusing its market power in the online advertising industry.

“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, president of the French Competition Authority.

The French watchdog explained that Google had discriminated against competition and unfairly sent business to its own services.

The investigation revealed that Google Ad Manager, Google’s ad management platform for large publishers, gave preferential treatment to the company’s own online ad marketplace on both advertising servers and supply-side platforms.

The regulators said Google’s rivals and publishers suffered as a result of these actions.

Google has agreed to pay the fines and said that it would be implementing changes to its global advertising business to ensure it did not abuse its dominance and equal fairness among competitions.

Regulators across Europe are probing into U.S. tech giant companies amid concerns over too much power that these companies can wield across 700 million-plus citizens.

The European Commission has probed Google, Amazon, and Microsoft over the last few years. U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority has also launched probes into Google and Apple recently.

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