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Google to pay $267 million fine, change ad practices after French complaint

The complaint, filed in 2019, accused Google of abusing its power in the online marketplace. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
The complaint, filed in 2019, accused Google of abusing its power in the online marketplace. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

June 7 (UPI) -- Google has agreed to pay $267 million in fines and change advertising practices after a French competition watchdog agency said the tech giant took advantage of its dominant ad position online.

An investigation by the French Competition Authority said Google unfairly funneled business to its own services and the practice harmed competition.

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The 2019 complaint accused Google of abusing its power in the online marketplace.

"These very serious practices have penalized competition in the emerging online advertising market, and have enabled Google not only to preserve but also to increase its dominant position," FCA President Isabelle de Silva said in a statement.

"This sanction and these commitments will make it possible to re-establish a level playing field for all actors."

Google agreed to the fine and said it will end preferential practices

"While we believe we offer valuable services and compete on the merits, we are committed to working proactively with regulators everywhere to make improvements to our products," Google France Legal Director Maria Gomri said in a statement.

"That's why, as part of an overall resolution of the FCA's investigation, we have agreed on a set of commitments to make it easier for publishers to make use of data and use our tools with other ad technologies."

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Gomri said Google is already sharing access to advertising data and providing access to more than 700 rival advertiser platforms.

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