Meta makes antitrust commitments on online advertising

PARIS:

France’s anti-trust watchdog said on Thursday it had approved commitments made by Facebook owner Meta Platforms regarding France’s online advertising industry.

Meta has committed to providing access over a period of five years to advertising inventories and campaign data to so-called ad technology companies under transparent, objective and predictable conditions, the French regulator said.

“This is the first time that Meta has made a commitment to a competition authority (on the advertising sector)”, declared the vice-president of the Competition Authority, Henri Piffaut.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The antitrust ruling follows a complaint filed by French online advertising group Criteo.

Meta provides access to advertising data through Meta Business Partner and is committed to ad tech companies being able to access it when a spend level is reached on its interface.

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Meta’s commitments are applicable to ad inventory across all of Meta’s platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, the watchdog said.

The commitments also apply to ad tech companies that have participated in at least one ad campaign seen by Meta users in France, the authority said.

Advertising technology companies use data collected online to participate in online advertising campaigns, aimed at targeting Internet users with messages tailored to their tastes.

The general objective of the antitrust authority is to provide non-discriminatory market conditions to the growing number of companies that have emerged in the online sector.

“You can develop an ecosystem but that shouldn’t exclude a competitor,” Piffaut said.

In May, Germany’s cartel office said Meta Platforms Inc was “of primary importance for market competition”, marking a classification that gave Germany more leeway to limit the market power of digital companies.