The FCA said the Internet giant abused its dominant position in the advertising market by granting preferential treatment to its advertising server and its online ad auction house -- the Google Ad Manager.
These practices "are particularly serious because they penalized Google's competitors in the sell-side platforms (SSP) market and the publishers of sites and mobile applications," said the French regulator.
"Among these, the press groups -- including those who were at the origin of the referral to the Authority -- were affected while their economic model is strongly weakened by the decline in sales of paper subscriptions and the decline in associated advertising revenue," it added.
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The FCA started probing Google practices in 2019 after three media groups, News Corp, French daily Le Figaro, and Belgium's Groupe Rossel, accused Google of effectively having a monopoly over online ad sales.
Google did not contest the findings and vowed to improve the interoperability of its Google Ad Manager services for third parties and end practices favoring its own services, the watchdog noted in the statement.
"The decision fining Google is particularly significant as it is the first throughout the world to tackle the complex algorithmic processes for the auctions that determine online 'display' advertising," the FCA Director Isabelle de Silva pointed out.