According to MSN, Google was slapped with a $166M fine by France’s competition authority for its alleged power abuse in the online market.
The French agency is saying that Google “mistreated buyers of ads based on keywords,” and that its ads platform is tough to understand. It also ordered the search engine to clarify its rules for placing ads and its process for freezing accounts, MSN says. That way, companies might be able to evade “‘brutal and unjustified’ suspensions.”
Google plans to appeal, claiming its advertising policies are meant to protect consumers.
Google, Not So Great?
The multimillion-dollar fine is the most recent action in the string of complaints against Google since 2015, when the search engine suspended ads placed by Gibmedia, an online consulting company. The major problem in this case was that during and after the spat between the two companies, Google published ads that were similar to Gibmedia’s. During their dispute, Gibmedia accused Google of negligence and opportunism “by initially offering services to advertisers that it considers dubious and later suspends, just to grow profits.”
On top of that, Google has been in the news with tarnished headlines for the past few months – for developing a tool that employees suspect is being used to spy on them, to a whistleblower leaking the details of Project Nightingale, to frequently changing its algorithms, forcing companies to scramble. Finally, it’s been hit with other multimillion-dollar fines by the European Union for other antitrust cases.
As a result, it seems like Google’s reputation is taking a nosedive. What once seemed to be an employee and business-friendly company may now be a money-hungry monopoly. Only time will tell how Google’s culture has shaped, and where it is headed. If it keeps making customers and employees unhappy, the company may need to search for ways to improve morale and business-handlings.