Gavel on table against the background of Meta company logo

Meta faces stern test in Australia over ‘strange and unfortunate’ tactics in lawsuit

Facebook’s parent company, Meta (NASDAQ: META), has made a valiant attempt to repress critical documents in a case against the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). However, the efforts have hit a brick wall following a Federal Court Judge’s comments over the tactics the Big Tech firm employed.

Facebook has been embroiled in a case with the regulator since early 2022 for allegedly failing to clamp down on digital asset advertisements that turned out to be scams. The ads were displayed to users of the platforms and featured the faces of prominent figures in the country like Australia’s richest man Andrew Forrest, David Koch, and Dick Smith.

Andrew Forrest initiated a private criminal case against Meta for “failing to stop cryptocurrency investment scams that used his name and image” in a West Australian magistrate court. Although the cases are in two different courts, the underlying issue remains the same, with Meta asking the court to suppress documents alleging the company made a profit from the fraudulent conduct and “took advantage of the users’ trust of the public figures featured in the advertisement.”

Meta claims that the documents, if released, could influence the jury’s minds in its case against Forrest. The company also asserted that the ACCC had used “inflammatory language” that could spark a wave of outrage against the social media giants.

Meta had questioned the Federal Court’s jurisdiction of the matter to which Justice David Yates criticized the firm’s tactics as being “strange.” Yates added that the claim of jurisdiction casts doubt over Meta’s claim for the documents not to be released.

Meta’s lawyers score some points

While Yates suppressed only a lawyer’s statement from being made public, Meta’s lawyer filed a new application to the courts. The court’s ruling on the application is expected to take place in the coming months, earning Meta some months with the documents remaining confidential.

“We requested the court consider pausing this case while Meta is before the court in another case, to which the court agreed,” said a Meta spokesperson. “As the matter is before the Federal Court, we are unable to discuss any details, but we intend to defend ourselves against these claims.”

Digital asset ads have been a burning topic in several jurisdictions worldwide. In the United Kingdom, the Advertising Standards Authority has adopted a proactive stance toward service providers. Several warnings have been issued to advertisers for failing to warn consumers about the risks associated with digital assets.

Watch: Marketing with blockchain—here’s how you do it

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

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