France fines Google $167 million, for a solid ad platform rules

PARIS (Reuters) – the French competition watchdog on Friday fined Google (GOOGL.D) to 150 million euros ($167 million) for abusing its dominant position in the market, through the application of an opaque and unpredictable rules and regulations, on the Google Ads, the advertising platform.

FILE PHOTO: A logo is displayed at Google’s European Engineering Center in zurich, Zurich, Switzerland, July 19, 2018.REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

It was the first penalty that will be imposed by the French anti-trust watchdog against the US-based tech company, which is faced with a growing number of studies in the world of business on both sides of the Atlantic.

Google said it would appeal the decision.

The French regulator said that it had found that Google was, for a lack of objectivity and predictability in the definition of the rules of Google Ads are the gateway for those who want to appear in the sponsored section of the search engine results.

With a market share of close to 90% of the online search business, Google has a responsibility to provide equal access to the Ads, the regulator said.

“One of the great principles of the competition law, it is that with great power comes great responsibility,” the head of the authority, the Artist, the Silva, he said at a press conference.

“It’s also in Spider-Man’s motto,” she added, referring to the fictional super-hero.

The authority’s investigation lasted four years and is the result of a complaint filed by Gibmedia, a French company that manages a range of sites and weather, and corporate data and files.

Gibmedia, had been accused by Google-has been suspended by the Advertising of the account, without prior notice to you.

The regulator said that due to the change in the terms and conditions of use and rules and regulations, on Google, was abusing its market power.

“The way in which the rules are to be applied to Google in the power of life or death to a small number of companies who live only on these kinds of services,” de Silva said.


Google, in response, claimed that ” Gibmedia been running ads for the sites that have been deceived the people to pay for services, unclear billing, terms and conditions.

“We don’t want you to have these kinds of ads in our system so that we can be suspended for Gibmedia, and gave it to the advertising revenue, in order to protect consumers from harm,” Google said in a statement.

When contacted by Reuters, Gibmedia, do not immediately have a comment

In September, Google agreed to pay almost 1 billion euros to the French authorities in order to settle a tax evasion probe, which began four years ago.

In January, France’s data protection watchdog had fined Google € 50 million for violations of European Union privacy rules.

The data protection watchdog, in January, ruling that Google’s lack of transparency and clarity in the manner in which the user is informed about the processing of personal data, and did not have their consent for personalized advertisements.

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; editing by David Evans and Jane Merriman

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