French Antitrust Regulator Orders Meta to Change Conditions for Access to Ad Verification
The French Antitrust Regulator has granted two months to the owner of Facebook, Meta to change its access rules for ad verification partners, observing that the company was potentially taking unfair advantage of a dominant market position in online advertising.
In a statement, the Competition Authority ordered Meta that it must publish new access criteria for partners seeking to use its analytical tools to assess whether online ad campaigns have been actually seen by people and are not displayed in a way that could harm the reputation of the brand.
It opined that the new criteria must be transparent, objective, non-discriminatory and proportionate.
The French Antitrust Regulator found that Meta's invite-only approach allowed access to its data to only the biggest operators and might be considered discriminatory in the fields of the firm’s ‘viewability’ and ‘brand safety’ offerings.
The lawsuit was filed by Adloox, a small independent French ad verification company that attempted unsuccessfully to obtain access to Meta's data from 2016 to 2022 in order to facilitate its advertising services.
Adloox had filed its complaint before the Competition Authority in 2022, and the authority found the barrier to entry created by Meta constituted an ‘immediate and grave’ harm to Adloox specifically, as well as to the independent ad verification sector as a whole.