Two years ago, press editors, including Le Figaro and the Rossel Group, filed a complaint against Google in France with the competition authority. Your accusation is clear: You accuse the web giant of abusing a dominant position in the field of online advertising.
Two years later, the Independent Managing Authority’s investigation is well advanced and nearing completion. Eventually, according to the Wall Street Journal, Google agreed to pay a € 220 million fine to end this case.
Google was already fined 150 million euros in 2019
The Independent Managing Authority states that “Google has given preferential treatment to its proprietary technologies, which are marketed under the Google Ad Manager brand. The practices in question are particularly grave as they penalize Google’s competitors in the SSP (platforms on which publishers sell their advertising space) and website and mobile application publishers. “
She also states that she has accepted a number of commitments from the company. For example, it promises to make its online advertising tools easier for its competitors to use.
In a blog post, Maria Gomri, Legal Director of Google France said:
We have made a number of commitments to make it easier for publishers to use data and our tools with other advertising technologies. We are committed to working with regulators and investing in new products and technologies that give publishers more choice and better results when using our platforms.
These commitments will only take effect in France. However, you could serve as a role model for the rest of the world. Additionally, the web giant says it will test these modifications before potentially broader deployment.
Note that this isn’t the first time the competition agency has fined Google. In 2019, the company had to pay 150 million euros and clarify the operation of its Google Ads platform.