French authorities have fined Google with €220m (£189m) for abusing its advertising power. Authorities have stated that Google has been promoting its own online advertising services at the cost of rival companies.
Reports show how Google’s advertisement management platform, Google Ad Manager which works for large publishers, was unfairly favoring the Google’s own online ad marketplace known as Google AdX.
The authorities in charge of overseeing advertising norms, said Google Ad Manager provided AdX with strategic data such as the winning bidding prices. AdX also enjoyed exclusive access to requests made by advertisers through Google’s ad services.
This goes against European Advertising Rules, which aim to protect interests of “press groups, whose business model is heavily dependent on ad revenues.” It is not the first time the company has been heavily fined for going against these rules.
In 2019, Google was fined €1.49bn (£1.28bn) by the EU for blocking online search advertisers part of rival companies. In the same year, the company was fined €50m (£44m) by the French data regulator CNIL, for breaching data protection protocols.
“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,” accordiing to Isabelle de Silva, chief of France’s Competition Authority.
Google has stated that it will be making changes to its advertising business.
The company has agreed to make it easier for publishers to use its data “We will be testing and developing these changes over the coming months before rolling them out more broadly, including some globally,” as per the Company statement.