The French competition authority criticized Meta for discriminatory practices against her partner Criteo. The body preferred to negotiate with Met instead of imposing sanctions on him.
Meta group logo, 01.06.2022. (AFP / Kiril KUDRYAVTSEV)
The revolution in the digital world. The Competition Protection Agency closed on Thursday, the 16th.
case of opposition since 2019. Meta (former Facebook) to the French online advertising group Criteo
, who complained about discriminatory practices, confirming a number of obligations from the social network, but without sanctioning her with a fine. “This is the first time Meta has offered commitments and seen them accepted by a competition authority,” Henri Piffaut, the body’s vice-president, told reporters.
After the investigation conducted by the services, in order to speed up the “return of competitive conditions”,
the college of regulators preferred the negotiation procedure with Met, rather than the adversarial process
that could lead to a sanction, he explained. Criteo took power in 2019, after losing the status of a privileged partner of the social network a year earlier, which enabled it to access online advertising tools in the testing phase on the platform.
Crite’s “hitting practices”
The concurrence authority then identified several “non-search-related competition concerns in the online advertising market,” half of which belonged to Facebook, and
a statement of “belittling practices” of employees
social networks in relation to Criteo.
The commitments proposed by Meta in 2021, which the government made mandatory on Thursday after “significant improvements”, include
more objective criteria for accessing the group’s privileged partnership program
which also owns Instagram and Whatsapp apps, and the return of previously kicked out partners.
The target will also have to
train your sales teams on competition rules
and make the new interface available to advertising providers free of charge. Everything will be assessed by an independent agent, for a period of 3 to 5 years.
Towards fair competition?
“Meta has finally offered strong commitments to respond to our complaint,” Ryan Damon, Crite’s chief legal officer, was quoted as saying in a press release.
“Such positive results can ensure that large platforms like Meta work with their partners
and an ecosystem within open and fair competition and without self-referencing, “he continued.
According to the Competition Authority, the new European regulation on digital markets (DMA), which should be voted on by the parliament soon and which will be applied from 2023, does not cover the practices that are stated against Facebook in this case. but ”
the government will continue to have its own antitrust activities
in good agreement with the European Commission “, said its President Benoît Coeuré.