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The Open Internet Project challenges the candidates for the french presidential election

The Open Internet Project challenges the candidates for the french presidential election

With 60 days to go before the first round of the presidential election, the Open Internet Project (OIP), a European association of organizations and European digital industrialists, calls on all the candidates for the presidential election on the digital sites which must quickly evolve so that the Internet giants – mostly foreign – stop abusing their ultra-dominant positions, and so that a truly sovereign digital industry emerges.

OIP interpelle les candidats présidentielle 2022

Indeed, the vitiated effect of the overpowering of GAFAM, which respects neither our laws nor our institutions, and whose place continues to gain in importance, both in our economy and in our democratic and social life, is revealed everywhere: tax evasion, financing of conspiratorial sites, capture of personal and highly strategic data, looting of our cultural heritage,…

« The DMA agreement is a significant step forward, which we welcome. Thanks to this new regulation, the European rules governing GAFAM will be much stricter, in particular with the recognition of the notion of gatekeeper, and will allow European alternative solutions – often the very first victims of anti-competitive practices – to develop under more favorable conditions ! »
emphasizes Leonidas Kalogeropoulos
General Delegate

The OIP wishes to know the position of the candidates on the following proposals:

  1. The public order must have a structuring effect on the organization of alternative solutions to GAFAM;
  2. Sanctions imposed must be subject to judicial publication for 30 days on the websites of convicted actors;
  3. Possibility of interrupting access to the sentenced service in the event of a repeat offence;
  4. Legislative framework for digital advertising market share and audience share to be aligned;
  5. Creation of an observatory completely independent of the financing of conspiratorial and parasitic sites;
  6. Creation of a full-fledged Digital Ministry and permanent parliamentary committees in the two Assemblies;
  7. Reform of the public procurement code so that free digital offers no longer make it possible to escape competitive bidding procedures;
  8. Support of European digital solutions by public and private funds with strong diplomatic support to offer and promote these solutions to all countries – the “digital non-aligned” – wishing to opt for services respectful of European data and values.

Contacts:

Léonidas Kalogeropoulos, General Delegate : +33607315126 –  l.k@openinternetproject.eu

Anaïs Strauss, Adviser :+33757503010 – anais.strauss@openinternetproject.eu

26, rue de l’Université • 75007 Paris
+33 (0)1 53 45 91 91

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Online advertising: The European Commission opens an investigation against Google

Online advertising: The European Commission opens an investigation against Google

Google favors its own services over competing ad technology service providers, advertisers and online publishers.

Publicité en ligne

A few weeks after the decision of the French Competition Authority, it was the European Commission which officially opened an investigation into possible anti-competitive behavior in the online advertising technology sector, in order to determine whether Google favored “its own online display advertising technology services within the “ad tech” supply chain, to be determined by competing advertising technology service providers, advertisers and online publishers”.

The European Commission indeed recalls that spending on display advertising in the EU amounted “according to estimates, to around 20 billion euros”.

In France, the 220 million euro judgment against Google by the Competition Authority in June 2021 for having granted preferential treatment to its own intermediation and advertising auction management services highlights that the share of Google and Facebook’s market in the digital advertising market reached almost 75% for only 30% of the audience, while the audience share of media present on the internet (Le Figaro, Les Echos, TF1, M6, BFM, RTL, France Info, etc.) is 25% for only 10% market share.

Indeed, the media are the collateral victims of the biased competitive system by which Google has captured a dominant share of the digital advertising market, allowing it to use media content, audience and data to capture value in this market and favor its own inventories (advertising space).

Thus, on a French market of approximately 8 billion euros per year, this means that by favoring its own advertising spaces (Youtube, Google Search, etc.), Google manages through its multiple conflicts of interest and its practices of self-preferences to divert a significant share of the digital advertising market to the detriment of traditional media.

It is between 800 million and 1 billion euros that must be redirected from the duopoly (Google and Facebook) to other natural beneficiaries of advertisers’ digital campaigns. The decision of the ADLC is a decisive decision as a first step to allow this rebalancing.

The Open Internet Project is closely monitoring this issue, which concerns both adtech companies, French and European online advertisers and publishers.

 

Contacts:

Léonidas Kalogeropoulos, General Delegate : +33607315126 –  l.k@openinternetproject.eu

Anaïs Strauss, Advisor :+33757503010 – anais.strauss@openinternetproject.eu

26, rue de l’Université • 75007 Paris
+33 (0)1 53 45 91 91

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Provisional (precautionary) measures

Provisional (precautionary) measures

Reform this essential tool in order to reduce procedural delays.

Reforme mesures provisoires

Faced with Google’s abuse of a dominant position, from which whole sections of the European digital economy suffer, the problem of urgency and of shortening the timeframes of ongoing procedures is essential. Time is the ally of monopolies and the enemy of European companies that suffer from the abuse of a dominant position by the American giants.

In order to be able to protect European companies, it is imperative that the use of interim measures be made operational, in order to be able to stop abuses of a dominant position quickly and more effectively.

The OIP is therefore fighting for the provisional measures to be reformed.

Article 8 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 on the implementation of the competition rules provided for in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty

provides that the European Commission may order interim measures aimed at interrupting a practice constituting an abuse of a dominant position, if “serious and irreparable damage is likely to be caused to competition” (Article 8 of Regulation (EC) No. 1/2003).

With this requirement of “irreparable” damage, the standards for implementing interim measures appear too high, so that this measure, although necessary, is inapplicable.

In order not to leave European companies, in particular in the very fast-paced digital world, subjected to market foreclosure practices, with no other solution than to wait for years for the litigation procedures to come to an end, it would be a question of reforming the provisional measures provided for in article 8 of regulation (EC) No 1/2003 of the Council in order to make them applicable as quickly as possible by the European Commission, but also of amending article 22 of the DMA settlement by replacing the condition “irreparable” with “immediate”.

Contacts:

Léonidas Kalogeropoulos, General Delegate : +33607315126 –  l.k@openinternetproject.eu

Anaïs Strauss, Adviser :+33757503010 – anais.strauss@openinternetproject.eu

26, rue de l’Université • 75007 Paris
+33 (0)1 53 45 91 91

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Android case: European Commission fined Google 4.34 billion euros

Android case: European Commission fined Google 4.34 billion euros.

Fight against Google’s illegal practices regarding Android mobile devices in order to strengthen the dominant position of its search engine.

In March 2017, the OIP formally filed a complaint against Google with the European Commission for anti-competitive behavior and tied selling practices concerning its Android operating system. In the interests of an open Internet, the OIP encourages the European Commission to restore fair competition in affected Internet markets.

On July 18, 2018, the European Commission fined Google €4.34 billion, once again for violating competition in the European market and abuse of a dominant position.

The American company was accused this time of imposing illegal restrictions on Android device manufacturers and mobile network operators in order to consolidate its dominant position in the general Internet search market. In fact, the Commission, after several years of investigation, accused Google of forcing, often through financial incentives, manufacturers of smartphones using its Android operating system to pre-install its search engine and browser (Chrome) by default as a condition to the granting of the license for its online application store (Play Store).

With this behavior, Google has deterred manufacturers from pre-installing search and navigation applications other than its own, thereby reducing the ability of competitors to compete effectively.

Google has appealed this decision.

 

Contacts:

Léonidas Kalogeropoulos, General Delegate : +33607315126 –  l.k@openinternetproject.eu

Anaïs Strauss, Advisor :+33757503010 – anais.strauss@openinternetproject.eu

26, rue de l’Université • 75007 Paris
+33 (0)1 53 45 91 91

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Google Search Case (Shopping)

Google Search Case (Shopping)

Prevent Google from abusing its ultra-dominant position in the search engine market by promoting its own price comparison service.

Google Search

In May 2015, after seven years of investigation started by Mr. Joaquín Almunia, European Commissioner for Competition from 2004 to 2014, with whom Google had succeeded in 2014 in obtaining an agreement to avoid a substantial fine – ultimately flouted by the multinational – our association decided to file a formal complaint against Google and its practices of favoritism of its own services and provided evidence as to the ineffectiveness of the search engine’s settlement proposals.

The European Commission, under its new Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, imposed on June 27, 2017 a fine of 2.42 billion euros on Google for violating EU competition rules.

Indeed, the American giant was accused of abusing a dominant position in the search engine market by conferring an illegal advantage on its price comparison service, Google Shopping. It has given greater visibility to its own price comparison service, preventing other companies from engaging in fair and transparent competition, thereby depriving European consumers of a real choice of services.

Google has decided to appeal this decision.

Regarding the remedial measures, the results are disappointing since the American company decided to set up in September 2017 an auction system supposed to guarantee fair competition. However, to appear prominently on the very visible insert of Google Shopping results, price comparators (including Google Shopping itself) must bid with Google, which remains very problematic at the present time.

The OIP continues to closely monitor the remedies proposed by Google and stresses the importance of the European Commission’s decision and its compliance.

Contacts:

Léonidas Kalogeropoulos, General Delegate : +33607315126 –  l.k@openinternetproject.eu

Anaïs Strauss, Advisor :+33757503010 – anais.strauss@openinternetproject.eu

26, rue de l’Université • 75007 Paris
+33 (0)1 53 45 91 91