French Antitrust Regulator Slaps $268 Million Fine on Google
Google has been fined a total of $268 million by the French antitrust regulator for abusing its dominant position in the online advertising market, according to media sources. The find has not been disputed by Google and was enacted due to the tech giant favoring its own Google Ad Manager technologies resulting in a disadvantage for competitors such as News Corp, Le Figaro, and Rossel La Voix. These listed companies brought the initial complaint to the French Autorité de la concurrence. The group then launched an investigation into the matter that sought to identify whether the algorithmic process by which Google was operating online display advertising favored itself.
The investigation found that Google built on its considerable dominance in ad servers for websites and applications to outperform its competitors on both ad servers and SSP platforms. The French entity took the matter very seriously, stating that the serious practice penalized competition in the emerging online advertising market. The sanctions are designed to level the playing field again. This isn’t the first fine the tech giant has faced in Europe, with others including a $1.7 billion antitrust penalty from the European Comission in 2019.