By a decision of 23 May 2016, the French Competition Authority (Autorité de la concurrence) decided at its own initiative to conduct a sector inquiry concerning online advertising in order to better understand the competitive situation and the conditions of data processing.
At first, the French Competition Authority discussed with a number of stakeholders and sent them preliminary questionnaires. The replies collected allowed the authority to identify the changes which affected the sector since 2010 notably as a result of the supervised automation of campaigns, the growing numbers of stakeholders, the significance of data and the strengthening of certain market positions.
According to the replies provided, the 11 July 2017, the French Competition Authority decided to launch a public consultation on this issue by publishing a new questionnaire.
This consultation aims at obtaining more details concerning certain offerings and technologies in order to appreciate "certain types of behaviour described in the investigation" and to "reach a decision on certain points regarding which conflicting statements have been received".
On this basis, the French Competition Authority contemplates adopting by the end of the year "a balanced final analysis" of the competitive aspects of online advertising.
All stakeholders can submit their contribution to the French Competition Authority until 15 September 2017.