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Wall Street Journal Claims Google Close To A Settlement In French Antitrust Case


Wall Street Journal Claims Google Close To A Settlement In French Antitrust Case
According to a report published in the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday citing source information, Alphabet Inc's Google is close to settling an antitrust investigation in France which was initiated against it over allegations that the United States based tech giant had misused its market power in the field of online advertising.
It is likely that the settlement will include a fine and some operational changes in the company, said the report.
Google's online ad auction system gains an advantage over its rival exchanges because of the company’s tool designed to help websites and apps sell ads, the French Competition Authority has said, claimed the report citing sources.
The report claimed that the settlement offer was made by Google in which the company said it would remove the barriers and obstacles that it puts up which puts its competitors at a disadvantage.
This settlement could be the first in the company resolving a series of new investigations or lawsuits that are centered round the ad business of Google which raked in about $147 billion as revenues for the company last year – which was the highest for any internet based company in the world.
Ad sales in its search engine and YouTube account for the majority of the ad revenues of Google. However about $23 billion last of those revenues last year was related to the company helping publishers in selling ads as well as the connections between Google's dueling businesses. This is the area that has drawn scrutiny from antitrust regulators and there are calls from critics to break up the business.
The report also noted that the investigation against the company in France was also related to other alleged forms of self-preferencing in the advertising side of Google's business.
While not commenting on the report for the possible settlement, Google spokeswoman Leslie Pitterson 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.
The report claimed that the settlement could be announced within weeks and would be applicable only in France if it is If approved by the board of the French Competition Authority.
In December, a law suit that alleged Google had broken antitrust law in how it runs its online advertising business was filed in court by the state of Texas and supported by other states in the United States. This case is similar to the allegations made in the French case.
Google also is fighting lawsuits in the United States from several advertisers, rivals and publishers around the same issues.