Alphabet, the parent company of Google, is close to reaching a settlement with the French authorities in the antitrust case filed against the company in France on the grounds that it abused its power in its online advertising activity, according to information obtained by The Wall Street Journal.
Media in New York, citing sources familiar with the matter, reported on Thursday that the agreement would include a fine by Google, which will also commit to making operational changes.
It is a case that has not been announced, but it is in one of the most advanced stages among the various investigations that are being conducted in different countries of the world on the field of search engine as a provider of online advertising selling tools.
The French competition authority claims that the company’s advertising server, known as DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) and used by most of the major online publishers to sell ads, has provided its online auction ads division, AdX, with advantages over other auction operators. The French authorities have also claimed that there are other activities in which Google Ads tools have given preferential treatment to each other.
To reach the deal, the Wall Street Journal noted, Google offered to improve AdX operations with ad servers controlled by other outside companies, as well as remove other hurdles facing competition.
The agreement must be approved by the board of directors of the French Competition Authority, which may reject it, but if approved, it may be announced in the coming weeks.
Another condition of the agreement is that Google will not deny or accept its guilt. Moreover, the proposed changes will only be binding in France, although they could be adopted in other regions of the world or in other divisions of the company.
Google, which did not want to comment on the information obtained by The Wall Street Journal, merged DFP and AdX in 2018, to form a single product it called Google Ad Manager.
Google’s ad buying and selling business, which accounted for 13% of Alphabet’s revenue last year, topping $ 182 billion, has caused many problems for the company, including a complaint filed in 2020 by a group of states from the United States for allegedly operating a digital ad. . Monopoly.
For its part, the UK Competition Authority launched an investigation last January to clarify whether Google’s plans to remove the tool known as “cookies”, which track user activity, from its Chrome browser could harm competition online, while the European Union investigated Also the advertising business of the tech giant.