France's antitrust regulator, the Competition Authority, has fined Google 220 million euros ($ 265 million) for abusing its dominant position in the market for advertising services for website and app publishers for mobile
In a statement released on June 7, the agency maintains that the computer giant has granted preferential treatment to its patented technologies that it markets under the Google Ad Manager brand. These practices became particularly serious for some press groups and other competitors, because they caused a decrease in subscription sales and related advertising revenue, according to the regulator.
Google offered a commitment to rectify its algorithms that the Competition Authority has accepted and made binding in its decision.
The president of the regulator, Isabelle de Silva said, the decision to sanction Google has a very special meaning because it is the first decision in the world to investigate the complex algorithmic processes of auctions through which prominent online advertisements work. The official said that the investigation was particularly fast and found that the algorithms used allowed Google not only to maintain but also to increase its dominant position in the market.
The fine is the result of a joint complaint filed by News Corp., Groupe Figaro (editor of the newspaper Le Figaro and other media), and the Belgian press consortium Rossel Groupe, who accused Google of a monopoly on the sale of online advertisements.
Last January, the technology giant signed a framework agreement with several French publishers included in the Alliance de la Presse d'Information Generale that provided for copyright payments for the use of their materials on the Internet.