Paris – Google (NASD: GOOG) has agreed to alter its policy on the
purchasing of sponsored links via its AdWords service, at the behest of the French
Competition Authority, The New York Times reported. Under the terms of a settlement
agreement, Google will adopt a three-month notification period when it decides
to reject certain ads.
While the terms narrowly apply to a case in France
brought by a maker of online maps designed to alert drivers to speed traps,
Google agreed to abide by "the principle of improvements and
clarifications made in implementing these commitments" to its worldwide
"This is a monumental event, because the French
competition authority got Google to modify its contractual rules on a worldwide
basis," Ron Soffer, a lawyer for online mapmaker NavX, told The Times.
"So if you are in the shoe business in California and Google suddenly
decides it doesn’t like shoes, this settlement will affect you."
radar detectors are illegal in France — which prompted Google to reject NavX’s
ads, French authorities found the company was operating within the law.