French regulator slams Google over AdWords complaint


French regulator slams Google over AdWords complaint

Warwick Ashford

French competition authorities have found that Google abused its dominant position in the internet advertising market when it prevented a location-data company using its AdWords service.

The interim ruling came after a Paris-based firm Navx accused Google of acting unfairly by suspending the company's AdWords contract without warning, according to the

Financial Times.

Location-data firm Navx claimed it lost 60% of its business when it was barred from AdWords and was forced to cut its staff by 12 people.

Google terminated the contract with Navx after deciding it would no longer advertise speed camera detection devices, because they are illegal in France.

But Navx said it merely provided information on the location of speed cameras. The company said it did not sell detection devices and was not given enough warning of Google's change in policy.

The French regulator has ordered Google to restore the contract, and given Google four months to clarify the conditions of the AdWords service because they lack transparency.

Google is to challenge the interim decision. Google said it was confident of a positive outcome because of the company's rights to set policies to guarantee that ads are appropriate.

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