Facebook could face probe into UK advert claims

Markets watchdog investigating allegations that Facebook defrauded hundreds of thousands of UK firms who paid for adverts on social media site

Britain’s markets watchdog is investigating allegations that Facebook defrauded hundreds of thousands of UK firms who paid for adverts on the social media site. 

The Competition and Markets Authority is looking into claims the tech giant provided inaccurate figures on how many consumers an advert on Facebook could reach. 

Officials have been put on alert after a lawsuit in the US claiming Facebook inflated its ‘potential reach’ figures by up to 400 per cent. 

Probe: The Competition and Markets Authority is looking into claims the tech giant provided inaccurate figures on how many consumers an advert on Facebook could reach

The CMA’s new digital unit will use its research to create new rules forcing tech giants to be accurate and transparent with information given to advertisers 

Labour MP Stella Creasy has raised concerns about Facebook’s advertising tactics – and has asked the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy if the UK authorities will investigate Facebook’s behaviour. Documents filed in the US case revealed that the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority complained to Facebook that its ‘potential reach’ figure was misleading in December 2016. 

In a letter to Business Minister Paul Scully, Creasy said: ‘The documents reveal a worrying discussion within Facebook about internal knowledge of inaccuracy of its own data on ‘potential reach’ – data that is shown to potential buyers that those companies will use to inform spending decisions on their campaigns. 



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