Google has announced to change its global advertisement practices after a landmark settlement with French authorities. Google has assured to make adjustments to its global advertising business to guarantee it would not abuse its power.
The agreement with the French competition watchdog might help publishers regain control of the advertising industry, which they had in the pre-internet age but had lost control due to the quick emergence of Google and Facebook.
Competition Regulator’s Investigation
In its investigation, the French Watchdog found that Google Ad Manager (the company’s ad management software for large publishers) favored Google AdX (the company’s online ad marketplace) where publishers sell space to advertisers in real-time. Publishers need such platforms to manage and sell advertising space.
According to the authorities, the Ad Manager gave AdX strategic data such as winning bid rates. AdX also had privileged access to requests made by advertisers via Google’s ad services.
In turn, AdX transmitted data with Ad Manager more smoothly than it did with other advertising management platforms.
With this, Google has cut out a settlement with the French regulator which was announced on Monday. Google has also been fined 220 million euros ($268 million). This is the first time the Internet giant has agreed to make changes to its advertising business, which accounts for the majority of its revenue.
“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,” said France’s antitrust chief Isabelle de Silva.
As part of the settlement, Google agreed to modify the way its Ad Manager services interacted with alternative ad servers and ad space sales platforms. Google will not appeal the decision. Hence, Google will change its global advertisement practices. Some adjustments would be made by the first quarter of 2022.
Google also stated that it is committed to making its data and technologies more accessible to journalists.
“Over the coming months, we’ll be testing and developing these modifications before rolling them out more generally, including some globally”.