France fines Google €150 million

France’s competition authority has fined Google €150 million (US$167 million) for anti-competitive behaviour and for having unclear advertising on the Google Ads page.
The fine comes as France and other European countries step up their scrutiny of major US tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon, which are often criticised for paying very little tax.

In September, Google agreed to pay close to €1 billion to French authorities to settle a fiscal fraud investigation that began four years ago.

Google, the world’s biggest internet search engine, has also faced growing regulatory scrutiny about the content it promotes in search results and ads.

Isabelle de Silva, the head of the French competition authority, told a news conference that Google’s dominance in the online advertising business was “extraordinary”, with the US company having a market share of around 90% in that field.

In January, France’s data protection watchdog had fined Google €50 million for breaching EU online privacy rules.

It said in its ruling that Google lacked transparency and clarity in the way it informed users about its handling of personal data, and had failed to properly obtain their consent for personalised ads.

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