Google Pays $270 Million to Settle Antitrust Charges in France

Google has agreed to pay roughly $270 million in fines and alter some enterprise practices as a part of a settlement introduced on Monday with French antitrust regulators who had accused the corporate of abusing its dominance of the internet advertising market.

The French competitors authority mentioned the settlement was the primary time an antitrust regulator had taken direct goal at Google’s internet advertising infrastructure, a platform that scores of internet sites worldwide depend on to promote advertisements.

The effective is pittance in contrast to Google’s general enterprise — its dad or mum firm, Alphabet, earned $41 billion final yr — however the French authorities hailed the concessions they acquired from Google as a result of they have an effect on know-how and practices on the coronary heart of the corporate’s enterprise.

In the United States, Google is going through related antitrust scrutiny over its internet advertising know-how from a gaggle of state attorneys common, in addition to from Britain’s antitrust regulator.

French competitors regulators mentioned Google used its place because the world’s largest web promoting firm to harm information publishers and different sellers of web advertisements. Authorities mentioned service owned by the Silicon Valley large and utilized by others to promote promoting throughout the web gave Google’s enterprise preferential therapy, undercutting competitors.

As a part of the settlement, French authorities mentioned Google agreed to finish the follow of giving its providers preferential therapy and to change its promoting system in order that it could work extra simply with different providers.

Among the businesses that complained to French authorities about Google was News Corp., the writer of The Wall Street Journal, and the French writer Rossel La Voix Group, the competitors authority mentioned.

Google didn’t admit to wrongdoing, however mentioned in an announcement that it could make adjustments to improve transparency of its internet advertising techniques and make the know-how extra interoperable with different providers.

The adjustments apply solely in France, however Google mentioned some would possibly finally be rolled out globally.

Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister, embraced the settlement.

“It is essential to apply our competition rules to the digital giants who operate in our country,” he mentioned. The accusations of abuse of the promoting know-how are “serious,” he added, “and they have been rightly punished.”

Liz Alderman contributed reporting.