Google settles French AdWords complaint

Google’s AdWords has had a slap on the wrist following an antitrust probe in France. The Autorite de la Concurrence was investigating claims from French data services outlet Navx which complained its AdWords contract was binned as an easy way for Google to get rid of the competition.

Navx, a speed camera location and petrol price data provider, complained that its account was suspended unfairly. Last June the Autorite de la Concurrence made a ruling that said Google was guilty of “discriminatory treatment” which had “brutally and profoundly affected the revenues but also, above all, the potential growth of Navx.”

Google  was ordered to specify what would disqualify ads and detail scope of removals, reports Bloomberg, as well as improved notifications and greater transparency. Now it says it will clarify its AdWords service policies in France and globally.  These changes will be in place by the new year and must run through 2013.

It was ruled that the courts must decide how much in damages Google would have to pay Navx.