France fines Google €220M over advertising breaches - Mobile World Live

France fines Google €220M over advertising breaches

07 JUN 2021
Google

Google agreed to pay a €220 million ($268.3 million) fine and amend its practices to settle an investigation by France’s competition authority into claims the company favoured its own advertising technologies, the latest in a recent string of scrutiny of the company in Europe.

The search giant agreed to share more data with publishers as it moved to address claims it stifled competition in the online and mobile app publishing sectors. French regulator Autorite de la Concurrence (ADLC) stated Google had not disputed facts in its investigation and committed to amend how its advertising and sales platforms functioned. Google’s commitment applies to its business in France but the company said some of the changes it is making will take effect globally.

ADLC president Isabelle de Silva explained the investigation was the first to explore the “complex algorithmic auctions processes through which online display advertising works”.

The regulator found Google’s Ad Manager auction platform favoured its AdX advert exchange network by providing better interoperability and access to information about winning bids in previous auctions.

In a blog, Google France legal director Maria Gomri explained it will “work to create a solution” to ensure all digital advertising buyers can get “equal access to data”.

Gomri said all advert buyers a publisher works with will be able to see this auction data in future.

In 2019, the European Commission fined Google €1.49 billion for anti-competitive practices related to its AdSense business.

The company generated $147 billion in advertising revenue in 2020, the bulk of which came from mobile advertising.

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Martha DeGrasse

Freelance tech journalist Martha DeGrasse (@mardegrasse) is delighted to be contributing to Mobile World Live. Martha has written for a number of telecom and wireless publications, and was a writer, editor and video producer at RCR Wireless News for almost...

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