French Competition Authority says Google is ″dominant″ in France | Science| In-depth reporting on science and technology | DW | 14.12.2010
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French Competition Authority says Google is "dominant" in France

French commercial regulator says that France "can apply limits to Google's actions." The Silicon Valley titan dismisses the 100-page opinion.

French wants to further regulate Google's behavior

French wants to further regulate Google's behavior

On Tuesday, the French Autorité de la concurrence (Competition Authority) declared that "Google holds a dominant position on the advertising market linked to search engines."

In a 100-page opinion posted to its website, the authority noted that French competition law "can apply limits to Google's actions and provide a response to the competitive stakes brought to light by the actors, without the need to implement sector-wide regulations."

This declaration comes less than a month after the European Commission began its antitrust investigation into Google, examining the question of whether the Californian search giant has abused its overwhelming market share.

The document outlines three main sources of complaint against Google, which include competing search engines, website editors, and the press.

In addition to calling for Google to be more transparent in advertising, the authority raised the possibility of an online expansion of the "Sapin Law," a 1993 French law that creates more transparency in advertising rates, which forces comapnies to reconcile the published prices for advertising time and space with the actual price charged.

Google rejects French regulatory opinion

In addition, the French government entity wants French media outlets to be able to "request and obtain exclusion from Google News, but without necessarily being delisted by the Google search engine."

In a statement emailed Tuesday to Deutsche Welle, the company called the French analysis "too narrow."

"Search ads are one of many options for advertisers," Google said. "If the price of search ads rises, advertisers can and do switch to other formats, both online and offline. That's the sign of a competitive and dynamic industry."

Author: Cyrus Farivar
Editor: Anke Rasper

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