Google has been fined nearly $270 million by French authorities for abusing its market power in the digital advertising sector.
As part of the first-of-its-kind settlement agreement announced by the French Competition Authority Monday, Google also agreed to change some of its advertising practices to make it easier for competitors to use its online ad tools as a result of the agreement.
Google’s commitment to change its practices is binding for three years, the regulators said.
The French investigation found that Google unfairly sent digital advertising business to its own services and discriminated against the competition.
Specifically, the investigation found that Google gave preferential treatment to its own advertising server, DFP, and its online ad auction house, AdX, in part by providing information about rival bids.
“These very serious practices have penalized competition in the emerging online advertising market, and have enabled Google not only to preserve but also to increase its dominant position,” Isabelle de Silva, president of the French Competition Authority, said in a statement.
“This sanction and these commitments will make it possible to re-establish a level playing field for all actors, and the ability of publishers to make the most of their advertising spaces,” she