Google pledges AdWords clarity, France ends probe

Google Inc has pledged to change rules and procedures for its keyword advertising policy in France to settle an investigation by the French antitrust regulator and stave off a possible fine. The Autorite de la Concurrence had been investigating Google since June after French GPS and smartphone data services company Navx accused the world’s No. 1 search engine company of abusing its dominant position by scrapping its AdWords contract. The AdWords service, where Google sells keywords that trigger advertisements, is the heart of the company’s USD 23bn online advertising operations and a pillar of commerce for Internet service providers. The French watchdog said on Thursday that Google’s binding commitments, which are valid for three years, were sufficient to address its competition concerns. Google said the watchdog had made “no finding of dominance or monopoly abuse.” As part of its pledge, Google will give three months notice when it changes its policy related to specific products in France.

http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE69R23L20101028

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