Google’s parent company, Alphabet, is expected to pay a fine and change some business practices to settle an antitrust case with the French government over its online advertising business, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
France’s Competition Authority has alleged that Google’s advertising tool DoubleClick, which online publishers use to sell ad space, gave an advantage to Google’s own online ad auction system over other companies, according to the paper, which cited people familiar with the matter.
To settle the charges, Google has reportedly offered to remove obstacles faced by competitors within its ad exchange. The changes would only be legally binding in France but could be adopted companywide to appease critics in other countries.
The alleged settlement talks come as regulators around the world have ramped up scrutiny of Google’s ad business, which brought the company about $23.7 billion in revenue last year.
Ten US states sued Google in December, accusing the company of offering Facebook special treatment in exchange for the social media site reducing competition in the advertising space, the Journal reported. Antitrust authorities in Britain and the European Union are also investigating various aspects of the company’s ad practices.
Regulators around the world have ramped up