Spanish media win first stage of Meta fight

Apr 17, 2024 at 05:06 pm by admin

Spain’s Asociación Medios de Información has won the first stage of its battle with tech giant Meta.

The Facebook owner had claimed that Meta Ireland was outside the jurisdiction of the European country.

The Spanish AMI had sued Meta Ireland for unfair competition on December 1, calling for compensation of 550 million Euros (A$910 million) from Meta for “unfair competition” in the sale of digital advertising.

Madrid’s Commercial Court No. 15 dismissed Meta Ireland’s claim, arguing that attributing jurisdiction to the Spanish courts represented a risk of placing Meta Ireland “in an excessively burdensome position” if it can be sued in any state. The possible risk of lawsuit in multiple jurisdictions “would cause Meta detriment in terms of legal costs, time and defence resources”.

In its order, the commercial court said the 87 companies that gave their power to AMI were information and advertising publishing companies domiciled in Spain and not in Ireland, and that the harmful result of the loss of profits claimed from Meta by the plaintiffs “obviously occurs in the income statement of these companies and it occurs in Spain”.

AMI president José Joly (pictured) said this first judicial victory was of “enormous importance” and ensures the continuity of the lawsuit filed by the AMI media.

“In this way, the Spanish justice can repair the significant damage that has been caused by the improper conduct of Meta, which used citizens’ personal data for years to sell segmented advertising without a legal basis for it, threatening with this conduct the sustainability of the media and the right to information of Spanish citizens,” he said.

The lawsuit alleged “systematic and massive breach of European data protection regulations” from May 25, 2018 to July 31, 2023. The AMI said the claim could be extended on the basis of an injunction issued on October 27, 2023 by the European Data Protection Committee.

In their lawsuit, the group argues that Meta’s behaviour “means that 100 per cent of the tech giant’s revenue from the sale of targeted advertising has been illegitimately obtained”.

Sections: Digital business


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