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Meta won't use rival's ad data for Facebook Marketplace, once it can stop doing so

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In a report published today by the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Meta made commitments to the regulator that it won't utilise ad data obtained from rivals to further improve its products, namely Facebook Marketplace. However, there is a caveat to these guarantees, in that Meta apparently can't stop using rival's data immediately.

The original investigation by the CMA started back in June 2021, following the CMA's study into online platforms and digital advertising, saying that from at least January 2015 Meta engaged in conduct which abuses its dominant position in the market, and the corrective actions by Meta seek to appease those concerns.

In the report, Meta states that it is happy to not use data from rivals, particularly from advertising, however it will need to implement new technical systems, and undergo staff training to fully implement this policy across the company. The commitment, referred to as the 'Marketplace Technical Solution' is to be implemented by Meta within 12 months of the acceptance of the commitments by the CMA, or by 30 June 2024, whichever is later.

The Technical Solution proposed by Meta is a system that prevents the "use of certain competitor advertising data in the operation, development and/or improvement, and layout and/or functionality of the platforms, which will only apply for advertisers who have voluntarily opted out of data being used, or have been proactively opted out by Meta (and have not objected to this)."

The other commitment addresses the unfair trading conditions in Meta's terms and conditions, with it offering to use "all reasonable endeavours" to ensure that employees refrain from using data they receive or otherwise have through Digital Display Advertising (DDA) and business tool services. This will also be included as a clear public statement as a part of its Code of Conduct, a complaince guidance document for Meta employees.

This follows the CMA's concerns that Meta would use data from its Digital Display Advertising (DDA) of its business for "purposes beyond the provision of the DDA." These are also some of the concerns shared by the EU, with it accusing Meta of imposing unfair trading conditions on competitors for its own benefit.

Source: The Register

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