back to article French competition watchdog aims probe at 'overwhelming' ad power of Google and Facebook

France's national competition regulator has decided that Google and Facebook hold "overwhelming" market power in digital advertising and are considering a formal investigation. A preliminary probe by the Autorité de la Concurrence, which lasted two years, quizzed over 100 participants in the digital ad market, discovering that …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Waah, Foolbook and Google aren't French, waah.

    Let's look at Vivendi's behaviour while we at it eh ?

  2. Adam 52 Silver badge

    Pretty much all medium sized publishers, not just the French ones, are concerned about the dominance of Google and Facebook. There have even been rumblings in US state legislatures, but have tended to be drowned out by the whole Russia buying the election thing.

    Some hope that Bezos and the Washington Post will turn up like a knight in shining armour to rescue them. I doubt it.

  3. Ledswinger Silver badge

    C'mon France, launch your own state sponsored alternatives, that'll fix the problem!

    The Froggle search engine, and the Francebeuuuk social media site, they'll be a great hit.

  4. Ledswinger Silver badge

    Hey! You with the downvote! WTF is wrong with "Froggle"?

    I modestly thought that was a stroke of fucking Anglo-Saxon genius.

  5. israel_hands

    I thought it was pretty shit, and I still enjoy Allo Allo jokes. But I didn't bother downvoting you.

    Not sure why the upswell of Franco-rage, I wish more governments would look into what those companies are doing. Unfortunately most governments aren't worthy of the name.

    They've got a monopoly on ads and data and they're abusing their position massively. The level of ad-monopoly they've achieved is a direct result of the data they've stolen from people, even those who have never had an account with them. It's the moral equivalent of those scumbags who run distraction burglaries on the elderly or convince them to spend their life savings on unnecessary and badly done "repairs" to their homes.

    Future generations will look back on our attitudes to personal data in the same way we look back at medieval peasants.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > C'mon France, launch your own state sponsored alternatives, that'll fix the problem!

    Say what you want, but there are only two European search engines, one is Russian (Yandex) and the other is French (Qwant).

    Aside from that there is Baidu, but they don't really give a toss about non-Chinese users, and all the rest come from the evil empire that is not down yet.

  7. Dave559

    Actually, the France-based search engine Qwant isn’t at all bad, and don’t forget that most of France was online (if not actually on the internet) with MiniTel about a decade before most of the rest of us.

  8. Ledswinger Silver badge

    Actually, the France-based search engine Qwant isn’t at all bad

    I'd agree, it is a breath of fresh air, if somewhat over-busy. But less than 1 in 250 French internet users choose Qwant, and outside France it has even less use..

    http://gs.statcounter.com/search-engine-market-share/all/france

    I suppose that's the basis of the French government's concerns. Of course, the name is a bit dubious for the British market ("what did you just call me?"). I still say they should have used Froggle, and then they'd have a far greater market share.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    > Actually, the France-based search engine Qwant isn’t at all bad

    It is quite alright. A bit busy as already mentioned, and the crawling could be more frequent, but I believe it is still in Beta, even though it's been around for quite a while.

    One thing that I find extremely cool for a French business is that apart from English they provide their interface in Breton, Catalan, Basque and Corsican (and French if you're that way inclined).

  10. teknopaul Bronze badge

    personally I welcome our advertising overlords

    Well Google not arsebook. Google took a new approach to advertising, like input to actual sales. Its the killer app. No one else even tried to do that. Add engaging content for buyers (seo) its a win-win with no competition. Arsebook is not it that market.

    If someone else set up a yellow pages with engaging content I'd use it. But the various yellow pages online attempts never implemented them two killer features. So they died.

  11. Ledswinger Silver badge

    Re: personally I welcome our advertising overlords

    Google took a new approach to advertising, like input to actual sales. Its the killer app. No one else even tried to do that. Add engaging content for buyers (seo) its a win-win with no competition.

    It's a killer in terms of having a dominant market share and make shed loads of money for Google. But that's because marketers are credulous fools. Ignoring biased sales-led studies, the best research I could find summarised for the masses indicates that although digital advertising offers high levels of targetting, it offers far lower "cut through". In English, you get your message to your audience, but they don't respond to it. And broadly speaking, radio and TV are as effective as online for targetting purposes.

    When it comes to return on investment, Radio, TV, magazines & newspapers offer better return on investment than on-line advertising, along with strong "emotional response". Even direct mail (the original spam) does better than on line display ads or paid social media content.

    Unfortunately, Google have been very effective in persuading advertising buyers of the effectiveness of digital marketing, and the ad agencies have used the opportunity to ream out credulous clients with expensive online campaigns and SEO offers; The reality is that traditional advertising still works as well (or badly) as it always has done, whereas online simply isn't repaying the levels of investment currently being made. And FWIW, that article was found by Qwant, which I'm rather stating to like (even if it should be called Froggle).

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