Google solves antitrust case about advertising practices

The French competition authority alleged that Google’s ad server gave the company’s online ad auction house an advantage in ad auctions.


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Victor J. Blue / Bloomberg News

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Google agreed to pay a fine of nearly $ 270 million as part of a settlement with French regulators in one of the first global antitrust cases alleging that the technology company abused its leadership role in the digital advertising sector.

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France’s competition authority said Monday that, in addition to imposing the fine, it has accepted commitments proposed by Google to settle the case, which include promises to make it easier for competitors to use its online advertising tools.

Google’s commitments will be binding for three years, the authority said.

A Google spokeswoman did not immediately comment. The company has previously said that its ad technology tools work with competing products, but added that it also regularly updates its systems based on external feedback “to better serve users and the wider ecosystem.”

While Google’s commitments are only binding in France, they could become a template for how Google will resolve similar complaints from publishers and ad tech rivals elsewhere, prompting changes in the way Google operates its system across the world. world. Akacceleratorfund reported last month that Google had proposed a settlement in the case.

As part of the case, the French competition authority alleged that the company’s advertising server, historically known as DoubleClick for Publishers and used by most of the large online publishers to sell advertising space, gave the house of Google’s online ad auctions, AdX, an ad auctions advantage, in part by providing information on rival bids.

The authority also alleged other forms of self-preference among Google’s ad technology tools, including those from AdX that offer better interoperability options to DoubleClick for Publishers.

Write to Sam Schechner at [email protected]

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