Feeds

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

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

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

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. ®

Using blade systems to cut costs and sharpen efficiencies

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.