Google to pay $268M, make changes to ad tech after French antitrust probe

Regulators say Google has abused its dominant position in the online advertising market.

Online advertising is huge business for Google.

Google is making changes to its online advertising business following an investigation by France’s competition regulator. The French competition authority said in a press release on Monday that the search giant also agreed to pay a 220 million euro ($268 million) fine to settle the investigation.

The French regulator said Google “abused its dominant position” in the online advertising market and “preferred its proprietary technologies to be offered under the Google Ads Manager brand.”

This approval and these commitments will make it possible to reestablish an equal playing field for all players, and for publishers to make the most of their advertising space,” FCA President Isabel de Silva said in the release. He said the action has special meaning because “it is the world’s first decision to look at the complex algorithmic auction processes through which online display advertising works.”

In a blog post, Google said it was committed to working with regulators and agreed on “a set of commitments to make it easier for publishers to access data and use our tools along with other advertising technologies”. It is done. Google said it would test and develop these changes in the coming months, some globally.

Online advertising is huge business for Google. For the quarter ended March 31, Google parent Alphabet reported sales of $55.31 billion, the majority of which came from ad sales across the company’s various platforms and ad networks. According to eMarketer, Google is the largest player in the US online advertising market with a 31% share.

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