According to a settlement agreement reached with French antitrust regulators on Monday, Google agreed to adjust some of its widely used online advertising services.
After the investigation found that the Mountain View, California-based company had abused its market power in the complex online advertising business, the authorities also imposed a fine of 220 million euros (approximately 19.5 billion rupees). Some tools have become essential tools for large publishers.
“The decision to sanction Google is particularly important because it is the first decision in the world to focus on the complex algorithmic auction process on which the online advertising business relies,” said Isabel de Silva, the French antitrust director.
De Silva said that due to the settlement, the fine was reduced, but she did not give specific details.
There were reports last week that Google may follow in Apple’s footsteps and not allow Android users to be tracked by advertisers. This change is achieved through a new version of Google Play services, which will be rolled out in phases starting later this year. Initially, devices running on Android 12 will be hinted, although Google plans to focus updates on ad tracking that restricts a larger audience over time.
Google pointed out in the support page that, once implemented, Android users will be able to limit tracking by opt-out of personalization using a unique advertising ID associated with their device. Advertising ID is used by advertisers to track users and provide personalized advertising content based on interest. The company stated that any attempt to access the identifier will receive a string of zeros instead of any specific value.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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