December 2, 2021

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France imposes $267m fine on Google

The French Competition Authority has imposed $267 million (N110.15 billion) fine on Google for abusing its market power in the online advertising industry.

The fine by the competition watchdog is said to be the first of its kind since the advent of the complex online advertising revolution in the world.

The investigation came after News Corp, newspaper Le Figaro and the press group, Rossel filed a complaint against Google.

Google has agreed to end some of its self-preferencing practices in the automated online advertising business.

The French Competition Authority said Google had unfairly sent business to its own services and discriminated against the competition.

The investigation found that Google gave preferential treatment to its DFP advertising server, which allows publishers of sites and applications to sell their advertising space, and its SSP AdX listing platform, which organises auction processes and allows publishers to sell their “impressions” or advertising inventory to advertisers. Google’s rivals and publishers suffered as a result, the regulator said.

Isabelle de Silva, president of the French Competition Authority, said in a statement the decision is the first in the world “to look at the complex algorithmic auction processes by which online advertising ‘display’ operates.”