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France fines Google a fine of $283 million.

Image Credit: AFP

France has fined Google $268 million for its bad practices in its widely-used online advertising services. A probe found that Google abused its market power in the advertising business putting large publishers at a disadvantage.

The French watchdog decision will attempt to rebalance the power over online ads in favour of publishers, which has suffered with the rise of Google and Facebook. Google has agreed to change its practices in the online advertisement business. The probe found that Google Ad Manager, which is Google’s ad management platform for large publishers favoured AdX, its own online ad marketplace, where publishers sell space to those who want to advertise in real time. It did this by having superior interoperability features compared to rival sell-side platforms (SSP) and providing AdX strategic data.

This decision will also allow publishers to seek damaged if they were at a disadvantage due to Google’s power.

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.

France’s antitrust chief Isabelle de Silva.

The fine was originally higher but was reduced because of the settlement. The French settlement against big Tech companies comes at a time of increased scrutiny of big tech companies dominance in the market. Last week, Google was also targeted by a German probe, while UK and EU opened their own investigations into Facebook practices in the online advertisement business. Also, the G7 agreed on a common 15% tax on large tech companies amid criticism that large tech companies are not paying their fair share.

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