Marketing Biz dotStrategy Loses Advertising Appeal to Meta Platforms at Ninth Circuit

In an unpublished opinion issued Monday, a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals panel affirmed summary judgment in a case brought by dotStrategy Co. against Meta Platforms Inc. alleging that the latter made misleading representations about its advertising charges. In siding with Meta, the decision found no abuse of discretion on part of trial Judge William Alsup.

Marketing company dotStrategy alleged that it was overcharged for two advertising products because it was under the impression that it would not be charged for invalid clicks for both “click-based” charges, under which dotStrategy paid a fee for each click on its advertisements, and “impression-based” charges, under which dotStrategy paid a fee for each one-thousand occasions that an advertisement was displayed to a Facebook account.

The lower court concluded that Meta was entitled to summary judgment as there was no genuine dispute that its invalid clicks statement “was anything but true” and that Meta “never represented that it would not charge for invalid impressions.”

The panel affirmed the findings regarding dotStrategy’s two click-based ad campaigns, rehashing that nothing in the record suggested Meta charged it for a click by a fake account in either of its two campaigns. In addition, the opinion said dotStrategy failed to prove an abuse of discretion insofar as it did not show that additional discovery would preclude summary judgment.

dotStrategy initiated a similar lawsuit against Twitter over misleading advertising. The case was partly dismissed in August 2020, and in December 2021 the parties stipulated to dismissal with prejudice.

In the case against Meta, dotStrategy is represented by Cera LLP and the David Hodges Law Office and Meta by Covington & Burling.