French commercial competition regulators may launch investigations into Google and Facebook in the coming months. Previously, the agency conducted a preliminary survey and found that the two companies completely dominated the French online advertising market.
Regulators said on Tuesday that it is considering launching a full investigation. Currently, European authorities are conducting an increasingly scrutiny of Google and Facebook, the size of these companies and powerful data collection capabilities make it quickly become an advertising giant.
"It is a bit clear that Google and Facebook have an overwhelming dominance," said Isabelle de Silva, president of the French competition agency.
In its report, the agency stressed that the two companies are both distributors of advertisers and technical intermediaries, giving them a huge competitive advantage.
In response to a possible survey, Facebook's European policy chief Delphine Reyre said in a statement: "Facebook is just one of many options advertisers advertise to viewers. & rdquo;
According to a report released by Zenith, an advertising company owned by French Publicis, Google and Facebook account for 76% of Internet advertising spending in markets outside of China in 2016.
The same is true of the French market. In the country, the internet has become the preferred channel for advertisers, with a market share of more than one-third, ahead of television channels.
Earlier, the French competition authorities met with local advertisers, service providers and distributors. Silva said: "We've heard many companies complain about some actions (Google and Facebook). & rdquo;
These dissatisfactions include bundling or tying, low prices, discriminatory treatment, limited collection and access to certain data, and more.
It is reported that if there is anti-competitive behavior found, the French competition authorities will be entitled to a fine of 5% of the company's annual revenue. However, it takes two years for any investigation to reach conclusions and impose sanctions.
Facebook executives Rael said: "Broadcasters, traditional media, and other online platforms are increasingly using data and sophisticated positioning technology to push ads to users. In addition, there are no barriers preventing new entrants from doing so. & rdquo;