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French antitrust regulator orders Meta to modify ad verification requirements.

Photo: Meta

On Thursday, France’s antitrust authority handed Facebook owner Meta (META.O) two months to alter its access criteria for ad verification partners, saying the firm possibly took undue advantage of its dominating online advertising market position.

In a statement, the competition regulator said Meta must disclose new access requirements for partners wishing to use its analytical tools to analyze whether consumers have viewed online ad campaigns and are not shown in a way that might affect the brand’s reputation. The new criteria must be transparent, objective, non-discriminatory, and proportionate.

“We are reviewing the interim decision and considering all our options,” a Meta representative stated via email. Ad verification firms measure online ad views, detect fake traffic, and keep client advertisements off pornographic sites.

The French agency said Meta’s invite-only method enabled only the biggest operators to access its data and may be discriminatory in its “viewability” and “brand safety” offers. In addition, Adloox, a small, independent French ad verification business, unsuccessfully requested Meta’s data for these services from 2016 to 2022.

Last year, Adloox protested to the competition authorities, which ruled Meta’s barrier to entry caused “immediate and grave” harm to Adloox and the independent ad verification industry.

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