Finance man to haul US Facebook to UK court over fake advertisements
LONDON: A personal finance expert launched a lawsuit against Facebook in Britain on Monday, claiming the social media company is allowing the publication of scam ads featuring his name.
Martin Lewis, who founded the MoneySavingExpert website, says his name has appeared on more than 50 advertisements in the last year, many of them get-rich-quick scams to con people.
"It's affecting my reputation, but more importantly it is affecting real people who are handing over money in good faith while the scammers are raking in the cash," Lewis said.
Lewis's lawyer was lodging papers for defamation Monday at Britain's High Court in a bid to make the social media company change its procedures.
Attorney Mark Lewis said his client was seeking substantial damages, so "Facebook can't simply see paying out damages as just the 'cost of business' and carry on regardless."
Meanwhile, Facebook has opposed calls by Australian media companies for digital platforms to be regulated, amid an inquiry into their impact on competition in news and advertising markets.
The government tasked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission earlier this year with assessing whether platforms such as Facebook and Google were using their market power in commercial dealings to the detriment of users, news media and advertisers.
Australian media groups, like their peers worldwide, are losing circulation and advertising revenues to digital competitors.
Australian media tycoon Kerry Stokes, the head of major commercial broadcaster Seven, on Monday urged Canberra to take "serious action" against the two online titans.
"The government must act decisively to curtail the frightening power and influence these companies have," Stokes told The Australian newspaper.
"The duopoly of Facebook and Google now control over 80 percent of the global digital ad market, taking away advertising dollars from local media without any of the controls and rules we must adhere to, creating an uneven playing field."
The industry body representing commercial free-to-air television networks, Free TV Australia, echoed such views in its submission Friday, saying the two companies were virtual monopolies but had "very little regulatory oversight".