Meta offers to limit use of ad data to address UK competition concerns


FILE PHOTO: Meta Platforms Inc's logo is seen on a smartphone in this illustration picture taken October 28, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's competition watchdog on Friday said social media giant Meta had offered to limit its use of other businesses' advertising data for its Facebook Marketplace service to address the regulator's competition concerns.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it was minded to accept the commitments, which include advertisers being able to opt out of allowing their data to be used to improve the Facebook Marketplace classified ads platform.

CMA executive director of enforcement Michael Grenfell said: "Reducing the risk of Meta unfairly exploiting the data of businesses who advertise on its platform for its own competitive advantage could help many UK businesses who advertise there.

"We are now consulting on these commitments which we believe, at this stage, will address our concerns."

The CMA cited an example of Meta being able to use data derived from a user's engagement with ads on Facebook to deduce they were interested in trainers, which could then influence listings for shoes to that user on Facebook Marketplace.

A consultation on Meta's proposals will close on June 26, it said.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru and Paul Sandle in London; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Kate Holton)

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