By Mauro Orru 
 

A group representing more than 80 media outlets in Spain filed a lawsuit against Meta Platforms, saying the Facebook and Instagram owner hadn't complied with European data-protection laws that require users' consent before their data are used for advertising profiling.

The Asociacion de Medios de Informacion said Monday that it was seeking more than 550 million euros ($598.6 million) from Meta, citing the "massive" and "systematic" use of personal data by the group's platforms without users' consent that handed Meta an "unfair" advantage in the advertising market.

AMI represents some of Spain's largest media publications, including El Mundo, El Pais, El Economista and Cinco Dias. The group said Meta's practices were damaging to the country's media landscape, putting its sustainability at risk.

AMI alleged Meta hadn't complied with European data-protection regulations from May 25, 2018, until earlier this year.

Meta couldn't comment as it hasn't yet received any legal claims or documents from AMI.

A July decision from the European Union's top court ruled Meta would need consent for certain kinds of targeted ads based on users' online activity, throwing a wrench in Meta's longstanding legal battle to protect a business model based on its ability to send users targeted adverts.

In October, Meta said it would be offering Facebook or Instagram users in the bloc the choice to continue using the platforms for free with ads, or pay a monthly subscription with no ads. Subscribers won't see ads and Meta won't process their information for personalized advertising, it said.

 

Write to Mauro Orru at mauro.orru@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 04, 2023 10:17 ET (15:17 GMT)

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