Google near settlement of French antitrust case, WSJ says

Author : enengfadilah91
Publish Date : 2021-05-29 11:53:05


Google near settlement of French antitrust case, WSJ says

It said the company was expected to pay a fine and institute operational changes.

The French Competition Authority has said that Google’s tool to help websites and apps sell ads gave Google’s online ad auction system an advantage over rival exchanges, the people told the newspaper.

Google offered to settle the matter by removing obstacles that it puts up against competitors, the newspaper reported.

The settlement could be among the first…


WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Alphabet Inc’s Google is close to settling an antitrust investigation in France over allegations it abused its power in online advertising, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.
It said the company was expected to pay a fine and institute operational changes.

The French Competition Authority has said that Google’s tool to help websites and apps sell ads gave Google’s online ad auction system an advantage over rival exchanges, the people told the newspaper.

Google offered to settle the matter by removing obstacles that it puts up against competitors, the newspaper reported.

The settlement could be among the first resolutions in a wave of investigations or lawsuits targeting Google’s ads business, which generated $147 billion in revenue last year, more than any other internet company.

The French Competition Authority said it did not comment on ongoing cases.

In December 2019, the Authority fined Google 150 million euros ($183 million) for abusing of its dominant position in the search advertising market, saying the operating rules of its Google Ads advertising platform were “opaque and difficult to understand” and were applied in an unfair and random manner.

Most of Google’s sales come from search and YouTube ads. But about $23 billion last year was tied to helping publishers sell ads and the connections between Google’s dueling businesses are drawing antitrust scrutiny, including calls from critics for a break-up.

The French case also alleged other forms of self-preferencing in the advertising side of Google’s business, the people told the newspaper.

Google spokeswoman Leslie Pitterson did not comment on the reported settlement but said that the company’s third-party ad tech products work with both Google’s partners’ and competitors’ products.

“We continue to take in feedback and make updates to better serve users and the wider ecosystem,” she said in a statement.

If approved by the Competition Authority’s board, the deal could be announced in weeks and would be binding only in France, the newspaper said.

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Texas, backed by other U.S. states, filed a lawsuit against Google in December accusing it of breaking antitrust law in how it runs its online advertising business in a case that appears to be similar to the French allegations.

Google also is fighting lawsuits in the United States from several advertisers, rivals and publishers around the same issues.

($1 = 0.8200 euros)

(Reporting by Tim Ahmann, Diane Bartz and Paresh Dave; additional reporting by Dominique Vidalon in Paris, Editing by Mohammad Zargham, Grant McCool and Barbara Lewis)

In Licking County, Ohio, east of the capital city of Columbus, bumper stickers on pickup trucks make it clear it is Trump Country.

And at a recent meeting of the county's Republican women's group, 66-year-old retiree Geraldine Jacobs made it clear that she's a Trump supporter.

"It's a shame that we went from the best president to now really the worst president," she says.

Trump won 63% of the vote in Licking County in last year's presidential election, en route to easily carrying the state for the second time. The result seemed to prove that Ohio is not the perennial battleground state many had still thought it was.

Republican politics in Ohio has also changed in the era of Trump. And with the retirement of U.S. Sen. Rob Portman — a fixture of the GOP establishment — more change is coming. As the Republican field to replace him begins to take shape in these very early days, it's clear Trump retains an outsized influence in the state.

Trump lost. His influence among the GOP remains strong

Polls since Trump left office show an overwhelming number of Republicans still view him as the leader of the party. Those same polls show that a solid majority of Republicans also say — falsely — that Trump won in 2020. He did not.
But she then makes it clear that she's already looking to others as the future of the party: "I think that there are other Republicans that are coming out strong and standing for these conservative values that are going to step forward." Moore notes that she's been watching Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis closely and likes what she sees.

Still, it's hard to get past Trump's dominance, something he'll deploy to influence next year's midterms.

And that complicates things, according to Ohio Tea Party activist Tom Zawistowski. He says Trump's time as president is to be applauded, but he also says Trump could have won reelection if he'd been better organized, more disciplined and had surrounded himself with better people.

Now Zawistowski wonders about Trump's next phase. "What's Trump 2.0 really look like?" he asks. "How much did he learn from this experience?"

Zawistowski has a practical request of Trump. If he's going to get involved in GOP primaries in upcoming local and state elections, Trump should be sure he does his homework. Consult with activists on the ground about whom to endorse.

"The problem there is that Trump's like the big elephant in the room," Zawistowski says. "If he says, 'I'm endorsing this person,' well, I got news for you: That's probably who's going to win."

The Tea Party leader warns that picking the wrong person could leave some excellent hopefuls on the sidelines. He says he offers this unsolicited advice because he knows just how much clout Trump has with Republican voters in a state like Ohio.

 

 



Category : business

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