These commitments aim to protect businesses and consumers from any unfair competitive advantage that Meta may have, which could distort competition in the market, the CMA said in a Friday press release.
Reached by PYMNTS, a Meta spokesperson said in a statement: “We welcome the CMA’s decision to close its investigation into Marketplace on the basis of the commitments offered by Meta to put in place systems and controls designed to confirm and validate that advertiser data from competitors is not used in Marketplace. We also welcome the CMA’s confirmation that it found no concerns with respect to the use of advertiser data in Facebook Dating.”
The CMA launched an investigation in June 2021 to determine whether Meta had gained an unfair advantage over its competitors through the gathering and use of certain advertising data, according to the release. Meta has a significant influence over the advertising industry as the largest supplier of digital display advertising in the U.K.
One of the key measures introduced by Meta is the option for competitors of Facebook Marketplace, who use Meta’s platforms to advertise their products and services, to opt out of certain parts of their ad data being used by Meta to improve its Marketplace, the release said.
To address the concerns raised by the CMA, Meta has also committed to limiting its use of ad data in product development beyond Facebook Marketplace, per the release. This includes digital display advertising and business tool services that identify advertisers.
Meta will issue a statement in its published Code of Conduct, stating that such data should not be used to develop Meta products that compete with those advertisers, according to the release. This commitment ensures that Meta’s employees working on product development do not use this information to develop and improve Meta’s products in the U.K. in competition with advertisers.
To ensure compliance with these commitments, a monitoring trustee will be appointed to oversee the implementation of new technical systems and employee training, the release said. This trustee will also provide the CMA with reports on compliance and any failures, ensuring that Meta acts in line with its commitments.
In another deal with regulators, Meta said Oct. 30 that it will introduce an ad-free subscription option for Facebook and Instagram users in Europe in response to evolving European regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The option will be available in the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland.