Google fined €220 million after being accused of ‘abuse of power’ by French antitrust regulator

Andrew Griffin
Monday 07 June 2021 10:23
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<p>A Google logo and Android statue are seen at the Googleplex in Menlo Park, California </p>

A Google logo and Android statue are seen at the Googleplex in Menlo Park, California

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Google has been hit with a €220 million fine in France, after being accused of abusing its power by the country’s antitrust regulator.

France’s competition authority accused Google of unfairly sending business to its own services, and discriminating against its rivals.

The company also agreed to alter its business practices in online advertising, the French antitrust watchdog said.

Isabelle De Silva, who heads the regulator, said that it was the first fine of its kind ever given out in the world. It focuses on the “complex algorithmic auction processes used for online display-advertising”, she said in a statement.

The new fine comes amid increasing antitrust pressure on the tech industry more broadly. Facebook, Apple, Google and others are all facing scrutiny from regulators, who are concerned they are abusing their size and dominance over the market to favour themselves.

French regulators have looked particularly at the way those companies are using their online advertising businesses, amid fears over anti-competitive behaviour.

The new Google case came after a number of news organisations filed a complaint in 2019.

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