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Antitrust: Google Fined $270M By French Regulators

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Google is once again in hot water with European regulators with monetary fines involved, this time in France. The country's competition watchdog has fined the tech giant 220mn euros ($268mn) for a charge of abusing its power in the online advertising industry.

  • In a statement released on Monday, the French Competition Authority said Google had unfairly sent business to its own services on its own advertising platform while it discriminated against competitors. 
  • The French authority said that Google "has not disputed the facts" of the charge brought against it and has agreed to end some of its self-preferencing practices. At that, the US tech giant has been ordered to pay a fine of 220mn euros ($268mn).
  • Interestingly, Google agreed to pay $1bn to settle a tax dispute with French authorities in 2019. Now, just two years later, it's been hit with a $268mn fine in the same country. Alas, Google seems to have a thing for pissing off French authorities.
  • The latest fine levied on Google came from a formal probe that was opened after US-based media giant News Corp, French newspaper Le Figaro, and Belgian media company Rossel filed complaints against the company.
  • If you recall, News Corp feuded with Google earlier this year over the search engine's rights to index content from sites owned by the former. That feud resulted in a three-year agreement for Google to pay for those rights.
  • For context, a $268mn fine represents less than 1% of the $40bn net income that Google parent Alphabet reported in 2020, most of which came from online advertising on Google.

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