Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


'Possible' abuses by Google found

15 December 2010, 13:57

Paris - France's competition regulator has found "possible" abuses by Google Inc in its online advertising practices because of its dominant market position, in a study released on Tuesday that could influence a Europe-wide probe into the company's search services.

The report by the French Competition Authority is not legally binding, and Google dismissed its conclusions as too narrow to have widespread impact. Still, the report presents a new challenge to Google in France, where the search engine is seen by many as too powerful and has faced several legal disputes.

The French regulator said it sees no need for new sector-wide regulations. However, it recommended unspecified, "targeted responses" to address complaints that Google overcharges customers and makes it too hard for other companies to compete. The report was commissioned by the French Finance Ministry following several such complaints.

The regulator's report focuses on ads that appear when users type in search queries, which provide the bulk of the Mountain View, California-based Google's revenue.

It comes after EU regulators last month announced an investigation into whether Google fixes its search results to favor its services over those of rivals. The company could face billions in fines if found guilty in that probe.

The EU's competition commissioner welcomed the French report on Tuesday.

Positive words for Google

Google, in a statement from its European offices, said "search ads are one of many options for advertisers. If the price of search ads rises, advertisers can and do switch to other formats, both online and offline".

The French regulator had positive words for Google: "In and of itself, this dominant position is not reprehensible: it results from a great deal of innovation, supported by significant and continuous investments."

But it went on to say that it had "identified possible exclusionary conduct intended to discourage, delay or eliminate competitors" such as artificially high barriers to entry into the market and technical obstacles.

It also noted "possible operational abuses, whereby the search engine apparently imposes exorbitant conditions on its partners or customers, treats them in a discriminatory manner or refuses to guarantee a minimum degree of transparency in contractual relations".

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...