Spanish media group sues META for unfair competition and claims over 550 million euros
“The claim is without preclusion of its possible extension due to META’s persistent non-compliance derived from the injunction issued on 27 October 2023 by the European Data Protection Committee”, states AMI.
AMI reports that according to the various decisions of the competent European authorities, META has persistently failed to comply with EU data protection legislation, ignoring the regulatory requirement that citizens must consent to use their data for advertising profiling.
In their lawsuit, Spanish media argues that META’s behaviour means that one hundred per cent of the tech giant’s revenue from the sale of targeted advertising has been illegitimately obtained. The systematic and massive use of personal data of the users of META’s platforms, tracked without their consent throughout their digital browsing, would have allowed the company to sell advertising inventory on the market from an illegitimately obtained competitive advantage. The management of the legal action brought by the Spanish media has been entrusted to the law firm led by Professor of Procedural Law Nicolás González-Cuéllar.
The president of AMI, José Joly, highlighted the importance of this unprecedented action, which shows how the technology giant has built its position of dominance in the advertising market by flouting the regulations designed to protect the fundamental right to privacy of European citizens and generating clear damage to the Spanish media to the point of jeopardising their sustainability. Joly stressed that behaviour such as that of META puts the survival of the media, which is fundamental to the democratic quality of a country, at risk.
The president of AMI emphasised that, according to data recently published by the national Ministry of Economy, news organisations are the second most digitised sector of the Spanish economy, only surpassed by the technology companies themselves. “These data show that news media are pioneers in digitalisation in Spain and that they have achieved an outstanding position in the digital sphere as a result of their constant innovation and investment efforts, in spite of the dominance of the digital ecosystem by the large platforms preventing the media from obtaining a fair share of the value of their work and remuneration”.
The Media Association calls on public and private sector advertisers to entrust their advertising campaigns to “safe, reliable and responsible media, respectful of citizens’ rights and committed to promoting the democratic quality of Spain, all in line with their social responsibility policies”.
This article first appeared on AMI’s website and has been translated and republished here with the author’s permission.