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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Google Pays $270 Million to Settle Antitrust Charges in France

Google has agreed to pay roughly $270 million in fines and alter some business practices as a part of a settlement introduced on Monday with French antitrust regulators who had accused the company of abusing its dominance of the internet advertising market.

The French competitors authority stated the settlement was the primary time an antitrust regulator had taken direct intention at Google’s internet advertising infrastructure, a platform that scores of internet sites worldwide depend on to promote advertisements.

The effective is pittance in contrast to Google’s total business — its father or mother company, Alphabet, earned $41 billion final year — however the French authorities hailed the concessions they acquired from Google as a result of they have an effect on expertise and practices on the coronary heart of the company’s business.

In the United States, Google is going through comparable antitrust scrutiny over its internet advertising expertise from a bunch of state attorneys common, in addition to from Britain’s antitrust regulator.

French competition regulators stated Google used its position because the world’s largest web promoting company to harm information publishers and different sellers of web advertisements. Authorities stated {that a} service owned by the Silicon Valley big and utilized by others to promote promoting throughout the web gave Google’s business preferential remedy, undercutting competitors.

As a part of the settlement, French authorities stated Google agreed to finish the apply of giving its companies preferential remedy and to change its promoting system in order that it could work extra simply with different companies.

Among the businesses that complained to French authorities about Google was News Corp., the writer of The Wall Street Journal, and the French writer Rossel La Voix Group, the competitors authority stated.

Google didn’t admit to wrongdoing, however stated in a press release that it could make adjustments to improve transparency of its internet advertising programs and make the expertise extra interoperable with different companies.

The adjustments apply solely in France, however Google stated some would possibly finally be rolled out globally.

Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, embraced the settlement.

“It is essential to apply our competition rules to the digital giants who operate in our country,” he stated. The accusations of abuse of the promoting expertise are “serious,” he added, “and they have been rightly punished.”

Liz Alderman contributed reporting.

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