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France makes Google pay up $268M fine and modify its ad practices.

07/06/2021

Google has agreed to pay a €220 million ($268M) fine in a case filed by France's competition authority, in which Google was accused of abusing its dominant ad position. Google was favoring its own advertising services over its rivals.

According to the report, L’Autorité recieved complaints from several French publishers before finally looking into Google's adtech business.

"The decision sanctioning Google has a very special meaning because it is the first decision in the world to look into complex algorithmic processes. Auctions through which online display advertising works. The investigation, carried out particularly quickly, revealed the processes by which Google, relying on its considerable dominant position on ad servers for sites and applications, was favored over its competitors on both ad servers and SSP platforms." said Isabelle de Silva, head of the L’Autorité.

Google has discussed in the blog post how it plans to bring changes to its ad rules by offering publishers "increased access to data", "increased flexibility" and "commitment to transparency" by "using unified first price auction in Ad Manager" and "reaffirming our promise not to use data from other SSPs to optimize bids in our exchange in a way that other SSPs can’t reproduce. We are also reaffirming our promise not to share any bid from any Ad Manager auction participants with any other auction participant prior to completion of the auction."

Google had faced a fine of €150 million ($167 million) for opaque and unpredictable advertising rules by French regulators in 2019 too.

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