Meta offers to limit its use of ad data to address CMA’s concerns

In response to the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority’s concerns, social media giant Meta has offered to limit how it uses the advertising data of other businesses for its own ad business.

Along with the European Commission, the CMA first launched its in-depth investigation into Facebook Marketplace in mid-2021, in order to see whether Meta’s database gives it an ‘’undue competitive advantage in particular on the online classified ads sector, where people buy and sell goods every day, and where Facebook also competes with companies from which it collects data’’.

In a statement on Friday, Britain’s competition watchdog said: ‘’Meta has offered commitments not to use competitors’ advertising data for its Facebook Marketplace online classified ad service. It will do this by implementing new technical systems and training for staff.’’

‘’If commitments are accepted, competing advertisers would be able to opt out from their ad data being used by Meta in Facebook Marketplace,’’ the CMA said.

Meta’s commitments also include limiting its use of advertising data to develop other products in the United Kingdom.

The watchdog added that the commitments address its competition-related concerns, and that it has started a consultation process that will come to an end on June 26.

Michael Grenfell, the CMA’s Executive Director of Enforcement, said: ‘’Where we identify potential competition concerns about a company’s practices or conduct, we look to see how our powers can be best used to have a positive impact on the market. Reducing the risk of Meta unfairly exploiting the data of businesses who advertise on its platform for its own competitive advantage could help many UK businesses who advertise there. We are now consulting on these commitments which we believe, at this stage, will address our concerns.’’

The news comes just days after Meta announced that it would sell Giphy to Shutterstock for $53 million to comply with the CMA’s final order. 

The same week, the Irish Data Protection Commission fined Meta $1.3 billion (€1.2B) over its data transfers to the United States.

Written by Maya Robertson


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