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Google Faces $267 Million Fine In France Over Manipulating Ad Market

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Lawsuits against Google have no end, and in the newest case, French Competition Authority has accused Google of manipulating the ad market and prioritizing its ad marketplace.

The search giant must pay $267 million (€220 million) to the French government. According to the French watchdog, Google’s actions in the country have led to the weakening of publishers. In fact, Google’s advertising policies have created an unfair atmosphere in the advertising market.

“The investigation, carried out particularly quickly, made it possible to reveal the processes by which Google, relying on its considerable dominant position on advertising servers for sites and applications, favored itself over its competitors on both advertising servers and SSP platforms.” President of the French Competition Authority Isabelle de Silva noted in her statement. “These very serious practices have penalized competition in the emerging online advertising market, and have enabled Google not only to preserve but also to increase its dominant position.”

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Google will pay the fine from the French ad marketplace lawsuit

Google also seems to have accepted this issue and has no objections to the vote. The company is committed to making changes to its advertising technology while paying the fine. Also, Google promised to provide “equal access to data related to outcomes from the Ad Manager auction.”

Moreover, Google wants to add more flexibility to its Ad Manager. According to the Legal Director of Google in France, Maria Gomri, the company is allowing publishers to “set custom pricing rules for ads that are insensitive categories and implementing product changes that improve interoperability between Ad Manager and third-party ad servers.”

Applying no restriction of publishers over negotiating specific terms or pricing directly with other sell-side platforms (SSPs) is promised. Also, providing them with more control is said to be done by Google.

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Google recently encountered similar problems

This is not the first time that Google is facing fines for abusing market dominance. Only weeks ago, Italy’s antitrust watchdog made Google pay $123 million fines. The reason was Google didn’t allow Enel X Italia to release its JuicePass app for Android Auto.

In similar cases, Arizona’s attorney general found new documents over Google’s efforts for obscuring location tracking and making it difficult for users to turn off location. Moreover, the German antitrust watchdog recently accused Google of misusing data and violating competitive rules.