Bloomberg Law
March 17, 2023, 12:26 AM

Google, Meta, Twitter Targeted by FTC in Sham Ads Review

Emily Birnbaum

The US Federal Trade Commission is asking Meta Platforms Inc., TikTok Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube, Twitter Inc. and other social media companies for information about how they screen for advertising promoting fraudulent products.

The request, approved 4-0 by the agency’s commissioners, is an opening salvo in a sweeping review of the promotion of sham products and deceptive advertising. The FTC is seeking to learn more about the companies’ processes for vetting paid commercial ads, their ad revenue and other metrics.

The FTC’s orders function as subpoenas, meaning the targets are legally required to hand over the information. These ...