Google fined in France $270 million unfair advertising practices

Google fined in France $270 million unfair advertising practices

Google fined in France and will pay a fine of 220 million euros (nearly $270 million) and will be forced to make changes to its huge online advertising business as part of an antitrust settlement with the French regulator AMF.

The tech giant faces multiple US lawsuits over anti-competitive behaviour and could lead to similar agreements with officials elsewhere. Facebook, the other dominant player in programmatic advertising, is being investigated separately by EU regulators over claims that its use of data gives it an unfair advantage in the business.

In a statement on Monday, France’s competition authority said it had fined Google “for abusing its dominant position” in the market for online advertising to the detriment of rival platforms and publishers.

Who are the regulators in France

The Financial Authority (Autorité des Marchés Financiers, AMF) and the Prudential Authority (Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution, ACPR) are the primary financial regulators in France

Google fined in France again by French regulator

The French authority accused Google of giving “preferential treatment” to Google Ad Manager, its ad management platform for large publishers. It did this by favouring its own online ad marketplace, AdX, where publishers sell space to advertisers in real-time.

As part of the settlement agreement, Google has committed to making it easier for publishers in France to make use of its data and use its tools with other ad technologies. “We will be testing and developing these changes over the coming months before rolling them out more broadly, including some globally,” the company said in a statement.

The case followed complaints by News Corp, French news publishing group Le Figaro and Belgian press group Rossel. Earlier this year, Google agreed to pay French news publishers for their content in a landmark agreement under new copyright laws. It later signed similar deals with News Corp and Seven West Media in Australia.
In 2016 Magistrates investigating tax payments reveal tech giant is being investigated for aggravated financial fraud and organised money laundering.
The company routes most of its non-US revenue from activities such as advertising through Dublin, where the 12.5% corporation tax rate is low by European standards. The structure allows the company to avoid both European and US taxes on the income.
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