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Reuters reports that Google has admitted to abusing its market power by unfairly favouring its own ad exchange when it came to bidding for ad inventory on websites.
The admission comes as part of a settlement with French anti-trust regulators worth 220 million Euro which also includes an undertaking to make changes to its practices.
The regulators found that Google Ad Manager favoured Google’s AdX by providing AdX strategic data such as the winning bidding prices. Google Ad Manager also offered superior interoperability features with Google AdX meaning alternate ad exchanges were at multiple disadvantages when competing to fill ad inventory on websites.
“The decision to sanction Google is of particular significance because it’s the first decision in the world focusing on the complex algorithmic auction processes on which the online ad business relies,” said France’s antitrust chief Isabelle de Silva.
Google has said it would not appeal the verdict and offered commitments to improve the interoperability of Google Ad Manager services with third-party ad server and ad space sales platform.
Google’s cooperation has reduced the magnitude of the fine. The conviction does however open Google up to additional cases requesting damages for Google’s monopoly abuse.