scorecardMeta likely abused its 'dominant position' in the ad market by denying some firms access to certain data, and must make changes within 2 months, French regulators say
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Meta likely abused its 'dominant position' in the ad market by denying some firms access to certain data, and must make changes within 2 months, French regulators say

Pete Syme   

Meta likely abused its 'dominant position' in the ad market by denying some firms access to certain data, and must make changes within 2 months, French regulators say
Tech1 min read
  • Adloox, a French ad company, complained to regulators about Meta last October.
  • Meta's program to let companies see data about their ads is invite-only, and Adloox was rejected.

Meta must give its advertisers fair access to data after "likely" abusing its power, the French antitrust regulator announced Thursday, the latest rebuke to the tech giant from European officials.

The parent company of Facebook and Instagram has been under investigation since last October over its ad verification partnerships after a complaint from a French advertising firm.

Ad verification is a process whereby companies can check how often their ads are being seen, as well as making sure they're not fake bot viewers, and that ads don't appear next to any harmful content.

Meta has two partnerships to let companies see this data — one for views and one for safety — both of which are invite only.

According the Autorité de la concurrence, France's competition regulator, Meta listed confusing criteria for accessing the partnerships, which then caused "serious and immediate harm to the independent ad verification sector."

Adloox, a French company which provides ad verification for clients, filed the complaint against Meta after it was denied access to the service several times between 2016 and 2022.

Meta's restrictions on its partnerships "were likely to constitute an abuse of a dominant position and cause serious and immediate harm both to Adloox's interests and to the independent ad verification sector," the watchdog said.

It added that Meta had not objectively defined the criteria for accessing the advertising data, and the refusal to admit Adloox is "likely to be qualified as discriminatory."

Meta was ordered to come up with new criteria for accessing the ad data within two months. It must be "objective, transparent, non-discriminatory and proportionate," the regulator said.

In a statement sent to Insider, a Meta spokesperson said: "We are reviewing the interim decision and considering all our options."




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