On Thursday, France’s antitrust watchdog gave Facebook-Owner meta Two months to change its access rules for ad verification partners, saying the company was potentially taking unfair advantage of a dominant market position in online advertising.
In a statement, the competition authority said Meta should publish new access criteria for partners seeking to use its analytical tools to assess whether online advertising campaigns are actually seen by people and are not displayed in a manner that may damage the reputation of the brand.
It said the new norms should be transparent, objective, non-discriminatory and proportionate.
“We are reviewing the interim decision and are considering all of our options,” a Meta spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
Ad verification companies offer services that include measuring how many views online ads receive, detecting fraudulent online traffic, and ensuring that client ads do not appear on websites that harm their brands. Yes, like porn sites.
The French body said Meta’s invite-only approach allowed only the largest operators access to its data and could be considered discriminatory in the area of the firm’s “visibility” and “brand protection” offerings.
The case was brought by Adlux, a small, independent French advertising verification company, which unsuccessfully sought to be granted access to Meta’s data for these services from 2016 to 2022.
Adloox complained to the Competition Authority last year, and the authority found that the barrier to entry created by Meta caused “immediate and serious” harm to Adloox in particular, as well as the independent advertising verification sector.
© Thomson Reuters 2023