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France fines Google $267 million for abusing 'dominant position' in online advertising

Mount Equity Group Tokyo, Japan > News > Tech > France fines Google $267 million for abusing 'dominant position' in online advertising

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NWSASundar Pichai, chief executive officer at Google LLC, speaks during the Google Cloud Next ’19 event in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Tuesday, April 9, 2019.Michael Short | Bloomberg | Getty Images

France’s competition watchdog has fined Google 220 million euros ($268 million) for abusing its market power in the online advertising industry.

The French Competition Authority said Monday Google had unfairly sent business to its own services, and discriminated against the competition. Google has agreed to end some of its self-preferencing practices, the watchdog said.

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 organizes 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 that the decision is the first in the world “to look at the complex algorithmic auction processes by which online advertising ‘display’ operates.”

She added that the investigation revealed processes by which Google favored itself over its competitors on both advertising servers and supply-side platforms, which