France Fines Google for Ad Dominance

France levied a massive fine against Google for “abusing its dominance in the online advertising market.” The settlement, which is a total of £189 million, comes as French competition regulators work to rebalance the relationship between digital publishers and tech giants.

The French competition authority found that Google unfairly favored its tools for buying and selling online advertising over its rivals.

It is the first time that Google and its parent company, Alphabet, have agreed to make changes to its practices from the outcome of an investigation.

Google Used Its Integrated Business Model to Its Advantage

Google said that it would make changes to Ad Manager as a result of the settlement. Large publishers use this platform to handle their buying and selling activities for online advertising and marketing.

Another change involves the AdX exchange, which is where Google auctions online ad space. According to French authorities, Ad Manager shared price information from rival providers to give AdX an unfair advantage.

The decision is expected to open more doors for publishers who feel that Google’s dominance has disadvantaged them over the years. This investigation proves that it is possible to seek damages from this behavior.

A complaint from News Corp in 2019 is what started the initial investigation. In February of this year, the organization struck a deal with Google on a global news deal through an exclusive commercial agreement.

This incident isn’t the first time Google breached European advertising rules. The company has been fined over £5 billion since 2017.