France sanctions Google to change advertising practices over anti-trust issues

*Google has finally altered its position after facing pressure from regulators over antitrust concerns in a landmark deal struck with the French authorities

*These are serious practices and they have been rightly sanctioned, says French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

Sequel to pressure from the French Government agencies over its alleged abuse of market dominance in the digital marketing space, Google has decided it will alter its global advertising business.

ConsumerConnect learnt that the global tech giant in a landmark deal struck with French authorities, has finally moved its position after facing pressure from regulators over antitrust concerns.

The agreement the company made with a French competition watchdog, which includes a settlement of 220 million euros ($268.2 million), is designed to reset the advertising playing field and give publishers a more advantageous position, agency report stated.

Isabelle de Silva, President of the French Competition Authority, said: “The decision to sanction Google is of particular significance because it’s the first decision in the world focusing on the complex algorithmic auction processes on which the online ad business relies.”

But where did Google really go wrong? Google reportedly drew the fury of the French regulators because its Ad Manager platform provided its ad exchange network, Google AdX, with inside information on bidding prices for ads.

That essentially handed Google all the data it needed to remain competitive in the digital space, report noted.

The French authority said AdX also gained privileged access to requests made by advertisers via Google’s ad services.

That access created concerns that Google would have too much control over online advertising when it bought AdX.

What changes will we see?

It was learnt that the primary change Google has agreed to make will give publishers a more advantageous position.

Going forward, the company agreed to upgrade the way its Ad Manager services worked with competitors.

However, consumers, advertisers, and publishers will not see these changes overnight. Even though Google will not be appealing the legal decision, according to report, the global technology giant has until the first quarter of 2022 before it needs to have some of the pieces of the agreement in place.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has welcomed the move.

Le Maire said: “These are serious practices and they have been rightly sanctioned.”

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