France’s competition regulator has fined search engine giant Google $267 million after accusing it of abusing its market power in the online advertising sector. This latest development follows a tradition of US tech companies getting into trouble with European regulators.
France fines Google $267 million
The French Competition Authority announced earlier today that it had fined Google 220 million euros ($267 million). The search engine giant was accused of abusing its position in the market by unfairly sending business to its own service and discriminated against competitors in the online advertising industry.
According to the report, Google has agreed to pay the fine and is set to end some of its selfish practices. The investigation conducted by the regulatory agency revealed that Google favored its DFP advertising server and SSP AdX listing platform. By so doing, publishers of sites and applications favored doing business with Google. They also sold their impressions to the search engine giant. Hence, causing suffering to Google’s rivals and publishers.
Isabelle de Silva, head of the French Competition Authority, said this decision is the first of its kind in the world. France is the first country to critically look at the complex algorithmic auction processes that the online advertising space works with. She added that Google’s act has made it tough for competitors in the online advertising sector and increased the company’s dominant position.
Thanks to the fine and Google changing its policies, France is sure to create a level playing field for all advertisers and to enable publishers to make the most of their advertising spaces. The sanction came after French newspaper Le Figaro, the Belgian press group Rossel and US-based News Corp filed a complaint against the Alphabet Inc. company.
US Tech Giants can’t seem to catch a break in Europe
European regulators are clamping down on major US tech companies due to the massive control they have within the EU. The need to regulate the activities of tech companies led to the roll-out of the GDPR in the region.
Last week, social media giant Facebook faced two antitrust probes in the United Kingdom and the EU. In recent months, EU regulators have also looked into the activities of Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google.