John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

French Watchdog Warns Google

Autorite; de la Concurrence, France’s antitrust watchdog, spent the better part of the past year studying competition in the French Internet search advertising market and you’ll never guess who it determined to be the dominant player.

Yep, Google.

Turns out that in France, 90 percent of Internet searches are conducted via Google. And while that might be concerning from a competitive standpoint, it doesn’t constitute a breach of law and Google is in no danger of sanctions. Right now, anyway.

“This dominant position is not reprehensible: it results from a great deal of innovation, supported by significant and continuous investments,” Autorite de la Concurrence concluded. “Only the abusive exercise of such market power could be sanctioned.”

That said, the agency’s findings will undoubtedly invite further scrutiny of Google abroad. Certainly, it adds a bit more heat to the European Commission’s investigation into allegations that Google abuses its dominant position in search.

Google, for its part, argues that just because it’s dominant in search doesn’t mean search and search advertising isn’t competitive.

“Search ads are one of many options for advertisers,” the company said in a statement. “If the price of search ads rises, advertisers can and do switch to other formats, both online and offline. That is the sign of a competitive and dynamic industry.”

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