Spanish media association files €550mln lawsuit against Meta

Spanish media association sues Meta for €550 million ($600 million), alleging unfair competition through unauthorized use of personal data violating GDPR.

A person's hand holding Meta's infinite sign.

The AMI media association, a consortium comprising 83 Spanish media organizations, has initiated legal proceedings against Meta, seeking 550 million euros ($600 million) in damages.

The Spanish media allege that Meta has been extensively and systematically using personal data from its Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp platforms to deliver personalised advertisements and thus resulting in unfair competition. The complainants assert that most of the ads displayed by Meta are based on personal data acquired without explicit consent from users, thereby violating the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Why does it matter?

This allegation of Meta engaging in unfair competition within the advertising market has the potential for similar cases to arise throughout the EU due to the alleged violation of European regulations. Overall, this lawsuit is part of the ongoing efforts by legacy media to protect their interests against tech giants.

Worldwide, media organisations have been striving to ensure fair compensation from tech giants for using and sharing their content. Previously, Spanish media won their battle against Google News, which was shut down by the government in 2014 but reopened in 2022 under new legislation allowing media outlets to negotiate fees directly. In the wake of the Spanish case, countries like Canada have introduced regulations aimed at making internet giants pay for news.