Alphabet’s Google on 7th June, 2021 agreed to make changes to some of its widely-used online advertising services under a settlement with France’s antitrust watchdog of $ 267 million.
The Watchdog Authority also fined the Mountain View, California-based company with 220 million euros, after a probe found it abused its market power in the intricate ad business online, where some of its tools have become almost essential for large publishers.
The decision came as an attempt to rebalance the power struggle over online ads in favour of publishers, which were prominent in the pre-internet era but lost the significance with the coming up of Google and other platforms.
The watchdog stated that the decision opens the door for publishers who felt disadvantaged to seek damages from Google. Many publishers globally expressed resentment over the ad practices employed by the tech giants.
France’s antitrust Chief Isabella de Silva said “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.”
The Watchdog reflected that the ad practices used by Google favoured AdX and gave it an upper hand, where all the other publishers sell space to advertisers in real time making it unfair.