Feeds

French regulator orders Google to reinstate Gatso-buster's account

AdWords terms discriminatory, not transparent, lack objectivity...

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Google has "a dominant position in search advertising", said France's antitrust authority today as it gave the company four months to open up about its cancellation of the AdWords account of Navx, a vendor of speed camera warning devices.

Ominously for Google, the regulator also noted the company's 90 per cent share of the French search market, and observed that there are "strong barriers to entry in this area", including the development of an equivalent algorithm and extensive indexing of content.

Is the Autorité de la concurrence on the brink of saying Google has a monopoly of search advertising? It might well be. At the moment, however, it's saying that Google's AdWords policies have been put in place under conditions that lack objectivity and transparency, and that treat the vendors of speed camera databases in a discriminatory fashion. And it has given Google five days to reinstate Navx's AdWords account, pending a fuller explanation after four months.

Navx complained to the Autorité earlier this year following the cancellation of its account in November 2009. Google is also said to have cancelled the accounts of other companies selling similar products. According to a statement (in French) issued by the regulator earlier today, the AdWords rules for companies in this sector were made more restrictive in 2008, but it was not made clear to the companies why their accounts were being suspended. Nor was the company always informed of the suspension prior to it taking place (as was the case with Navx).

The Autorité also notes that Google's policies here seem discriminatory, because although manufacturers of GPS systems that include speedcam databases can continue to promote their products via AdWords, the producers of the databases (in France, CDB, Coyote, Navx, and AlerteGPS) cannot. The regulator also notes that unlike radar detectors, speed camera databases are not illegal in France. It is continuing to investigate, and has the power to fine Google. Its full decision (PDF, in French) can be found here. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.