Google Settles French AdWords Investigation

Google has agreed to revamp its keyword-based advertising service in France to settle an investigation being conducted by the country's competition watchdog and avoid a possible fine.

The company has pledged to make the AdWords ad service more transparent for advertisers in France, and possibly the rest of the world.

Autorite de la Concurrence, France's competition watchdog, has been investigating Google since June after French GPS device maker Navx had lodged a complaint against Google for abusing its dominating position in the market by cancelling Navx's AdWords contract.

The French anti-trust regulator said in a statement: “Google commits itself to make the functioning of its AdWords service concerning devices aimed at evading road traffic speed cameras in France more transparent and predictable for advertisers.”

The search giant confirmed that the investigation conducted by the authority had found no monopoly abuse. Google's commitments are binding for the next three years and will involve the company giving three months prior notice before making any changes in product policies.