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The French competition authority imposes a fine of 220 million euros on Google


France's competition regulator on Monday fined Google 220 million euros ($267 million) for abusing its dominant market position to place ads on the Internet in its own interests.


According to Swissinfo, Google did not object to the penalty, which is part of a settlement reached after a complaint brought by three media groups for the de facto monopoly of online advertising sales. The fine is the latest move by European authorities to take a tougher line on US technology giants.


The competition authority wrote in its decision that it "noted" that Google had granted preferential treatment to its technologies offered under the Google Ad Manager brand.


"The practices in question are particularly dangerous because they have penalized Google's competitors in the ad space market and publishers of websites and mobile applications," she said, including editors in particular.


In addition to the financial sanctions, Google offered commitments aimed at resolving problems that emerged during the investigation by the French body.


"This is a historic decision. It is the first in the world that addresses the complex algorithmic auction processes through which online advertisements are displayed," the authority's president, Isabel de Silva, said during a press conference.


Alphabet Inc., which owns Google, generated $55.31 billion in revenue in the first quarter of 2021, mostly thanks to online advertising. The company faces lawsuits in several countries on the basis of competition law.

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