In 2019, major press publishers, including Le Figaro and the Rossel Group, filed a complaint against Google in France with the competition authority. The web giant is accused of having abused a dominant position in the online advertising market. According to Les Échos, the company would promote “its own tools in the complex chain of technical mediation between advertisers and publishers”.
More than two years later, the case has finally made good progress and the investigation is even nearing completion. For its part, the Wall Street Journal indicated that Google had proposed an amicable settlement to the competition authority to avoid an antitrust lawsuit.
Google has already been sanctioned by the competition authority
The company would agree to pay a fine and change some of its practices that would affect competition. However, there is no evidence that this proposal will be adopted. Indeed, it is necessary to await the decision of the Independent Managing Authority on this matter.
For its part, Google responded to the Echoes. The company explains: “Our advertising technologies work equally well with the offerings of our partners and our competitors, including more than 700 platforms on the advertiser side and 80 platforms on the publisher side. We invest in this industry because it plays an important role in accessing ad-supported content online. We listen to feedback and keep making changes to better serve users and the wider ecosystem.
As a reminder: In 2019, the competition authority had already fined Google 150 million euros and asked them to clarify the operation of the Google Ads platform. Everything was actually part of a suspension of the Gibmedia account in the advertising network. The company then deemed it neither objective nor opaque or discriminatory before deciding to sue the tech giant.