The French Competition Authority this week imposed a 220 million euro fine on Google for abusing its dominant position in the online advertising market.
The sanction is the result of a negotiation with the American Internet “giant”, which accepted the charges and made a series of commitments in its advertising policy that become obligations.
At the heart of the matter is the dominant position Google has in ad servers for website publishers and mobile apps, which has allowed it to give preferential treatment to its own technologies under the Google Ad Manager brand. This has benefited, to the detriment of its competitors, both the operation of its DPF ad server through which publishers offer their ad spaces for sale, and the AdX platform that organizes the auction of those spaces.
Google has limited the attractiveness of other ad servers, which has allowed it to “significantly increase its market share and revenues, which are already very high,” the regulator noted.
In addition to the fine, Google will have to allow competitors a mechanism to enable its DFP server to interoperate with other external servers to give them the possibility of “a competition on the merits” so that AdX and other external platforms have equal access to auction information.