Spanish media sites sue Meta over unfair competition

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

Spanish media sites announced on Monday that it has filed a 550 million euro ($598 million) lawsuit against Facebook owner Meta, citing unfair competition in the advertising business, a consortium representing 83.

The AMI newspaper publishing organization said in a statement on Monday that it filed the action in a commercial court on Friday.

The newspapers said that Meta had an unfair competitive edge in designing and providing customized advertisements because of its “massive” and “systematic” exploitation of user personal data from its Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp platforms.

The complainants, which included Vocento, the owner of ABC and other media, Prisa, the publisher of El Pais, Spain’s leading newspaper, and other privately held companies, claimed that the majority of the advertisements run by Meta use personal information obtained from clients without their express consent, in violation of data protection laws.

This is the second time that tech companies have been urged by Spanish media to defend their territory.

Alphabet’s Google News service was forced to close in 2014 by the Spanish government, and it remained closed until 2022, when new laws permitting media outlets to engage in direct negotiations with the internet giant were passed.

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