back to article Google ad biz shenanigans smacked down by French competition regulators

Google is to change the way it operates its advertising business, after the internet giant was slapped with a €220m (£189m) fine by French competition regulators for abusing its dominant position. Publishing the decision, the Autorité de la concurrence ruled that Google granted preferential treatment to its own proprietary …

  1. Falmari Silver badge

    Google's technologies will still receive preferential treatment

    “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,” said Maria Gomri, legal director at Google.

    Why thank you Google but I am not quite sure how that addresses this “Autorité de la concurrence ruled that Google granted preferential treatment to its own proprietary technologies offered under its Google Ad Manager brand.”

    Seems to me “granted preferential treatment to its own proprietary technologies offered under its Google Ad Manager brand.” is still there but hey we have made a commitment to make it easier to now use technology that has preferential treatment.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would anyone expect less?

    “granted preferential treatment to its own proprietary technologies offered under its Google Ad Manager brand.”

    Isn't complaining about that a bit like complaining that Tesco puts their Finest baked beans in a more prominent position on the shelf than it puts those from Heinz? If you shop at Google, no surprise that the results give preferential treatment to Google products, surely? There are other search providers.

    1. Mister Dubious
      Facepalm

      Re: Would anyone expect less?

      "If you shop at Google, no surprise that the results give preferential treatment to Google products, surely? There are other search providers."

      Right you are. I won't bother listing them; you can AltaVista them for yourself.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Would anyone expect less?

        you can AltaVista them for yourself

        I'll bing them. or qwant them. or maybe just let metacrawler do them all for me.

    2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

      Re: Would anyone expect less?

      It's more like Heinz paying to have their beans in a prime location (aisle end, facing the door, say) and Tesco then putting a big sign in front of the display saying "Tesco Finest beans are even better, and cost less! just look here!"

      So the advertiser thinks they are paying for a prime ad, only to discover that Tesco/Google products are always ahead of them, however much they've paid.

  3. Dinanziame Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Does anyone know details?

    Usually, I'm able to understand some of what the issue is, like at this point Google uses that data, or advantages this product that they own instead of that third-party product. Here it seems Google advantaged its technologies in the DFP (Doubleclick for Publishers) and SSP (Supply-Side Platform) servers, but that's all I can find in the ruling or anywhere else. The details of how Google will fix the issues are similarly vague.

    Google seems to be taking these rulings in stride, though.

  4. nematoad Silver badge
    FAIL

    Ain't going to happen.

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

    Yeah, right!

    €220m?

    Google could find that down the back of the sofa and if you are gullible to believe that there won't be "great minds" working out ways to get round any controls and/or agreements placed on Google then I have a bridge you might be interested in.

    Just business as usual with all the platitudes and false promises Google and their like bring out when ever anything like this happens.

    Break 'em up and really put the shackles on their monopolistic tendencies.

    If that happens all those lovely campaign contributions so freely offered and willingly accepted will vanish. And that would never do. So it will take a spine of steel and purity of heart and I don't see much of that in the politicians.round here.

    I won't be holding my breath.

    1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

      Re: Ain't going to happen.

      I also notice that they are not switching off advertising until they've fixed the algorithm, they are continuing to use the infringing behaviour until they get around to fixing the code.

      It's almost as if they think they have a basic right to whatever they have decided their business model is.

      Like not manually-moderating Youtube because it's expensive, rather than admitting that in fact, fee video as a product is only viable whilst breaking content and copyright laws in most countries.

  5. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Death by a Thousand Nibbles?

    Now if others would hit Chocolate Factory and the other Silly Valley scum with repeated bites they might reform once the total starts having a material impact on their profits; Wall Street will be outraged if they lose money.

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