Meta, the company led by Mark Zuckerberg and creator of Facebook, is the most significant social network in history. With over 3 billion active monthly users on Facebook and ownership of WhatsApp and Instagram, each with more than 2 billion active users, Meta’s dominance is unmatched. Eighty-three Spanish media outlets have filed a lawsuit against the company for unfair competition in the advertising market.
Today, Meta is one of the most well-known companies in the realm of social media. It owns two of the most used social networks, Instagram and Facebook, as well as the most popular instant messaging app, WhatsApp. In short, Meta is the market leader in this space. It also has a significant share in the virtual reality sector with Meta Quest glasses.
Spanish media outlets are suing Meta for using user data without consent, with a total of 83 outlets represented by the Association of Information Media (AMI) filing a lawsuit claiming unfair competition in privacy use. The lawsuit demands Meta pay $600 million (approximately 550 million euros).
AMI plaintiffs claim Meta violated the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) between 2018 and 2023. They allege that Meta has exploited registered citizens’ data and information to create personalized advertisements, accusing the company of using data without customers’ consent.
Among the 83 Spanish media outlets are groups such as Prisa, the owner of newspapers like El País, and Vocento, the owner of ABC. According to the GDPR, which came into force in May 2018, websites and services must request user authorization to store and/or use personal data. This is not the first time Meta has faced accusations of ignoring customer privacy.
The lawsuit is an attempt by the 83 media outlets to challenge Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp regarding data use for personalized advertisements. According to the outlets, 100% of Facebook’s advertising sales are illegitimate due to the unauthorized use of customer data. This has allowed Meta to hold a considerable advantage over Spanish media outlets and other competitors in the advertising space. This lawsuit may pave the way for other EU countries to challenge Meta using similar arguments. Spanish media outlets have previously defeated Google News and hope to achieve another victory against Meta.
This news article was first reported by El Chapuzas Informático under the headline “Spain vs Meta: 83 media outlets unite and sue the company for unfair competition, demanding 550 million.”