Facebook parent Meta has provided major reassurance to UK antitrust regulators as it combats concerns over how it uses advertising data to profit off its products.
This comes in the same week that Meta revealed it was selling the GIF platform three years after buying it for $400 million, following a final divestment order issued by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) last October. was selling Giphy for $53 million. The CMA recently blocked Microsoft’s $68.7 billion bid for Activision.
At the heart of this specific issue is how Meta is able to leverage data from its main social networks to make content display and recommendation decisions in Facebook Marketplace, an online classifieds service launched back in 2016 that allows Facebook users to find certain Also allows buying and selling. Given that Meta may gain insight on users’ interests through their online advertising interactions on Facebook CMA argues that this gives Meta an unfair advantage by allowing it to display more relevant items in its users’ Marketplace feeds – to the detriment of advertisers elsewhere on the platform.
European Commission (EC) and CMA announced separate but collaborative efforts To examine meta on this exercise in June 2021 with CMA disclosed back in august It was proceeding with a formal investigation. The Election Commission followed suit four months later.
Now, however, the CMA has given its first indication that it is prepared to drop the case after receiving specific commitments from META.
These include allowing advertisers to opt-out of their advertising data being used to develop the Facebook Marketplace, which Meta said it would do through implementing “new technical systems”. On top of this, Meta said it would train staff to ensure they do not use advertiser data when developing new products for use in the UK market that may be in competition with advertisers.
While the CMA has yet to explicitly commit to these commitments, it has more or less said that it will, and that if it is eventually given the go-ahead, it will appoint an oversight trustee to ensure that META fulfills its mandate. Follows through on commitments.
Michael Grenfell, CMA’s director of enforcement, wrote in a report published today: “Mitigating the risk that Meta could be unfairly exploiting the data of businesses that advertise on its platform for their own competitive advantage, which There are many UK businesses out there who can advertise.” “We are now consulting on these commitments which we believe, at this stage, will address our concerns.”
This latest announcement kickstarts a one-month consultation period that will close on June 26. If its provisional findings are upheld, it would effectively end the investigation.