dotStrategy, Co., Individually and On Behalf of All Other Similarly Situated, Plaintiff, v. Facebook, Inc., Defendant

An Analysis Group team was retained by counsel on behalf of Facebook to address issues related to class certification in a lawsuit by dotStrategy, a user of Facebook’s online advertising platform. The named plaintiff dotStrategy alleged that it and other purchasers of Facebook ads paid for worthless advertising by being charged for impressions generated by fake Facebook accounts. DotStrategy claimed that Facebook was contractually obligated to remove fake accounts and either not charge purchasers for those impressions or refund the charges already paid.

An Analysis Group team, led by Managing Principal Aaron Yeater, Vice President Laura O’Laughlin, and Manager Rosie Mate, supported academic affiliate Catherine Tucker of MIT, who critiqued the methodology proposed by the plaintiff’s expert for calculating damages across the proposed class. Drawing on her expertise in the economics of digital advertising and her specialized knowledge of media and technology, Prof. Tucker identified a series of erroneous assumptions about Facebook advertising and other methodological flaws in the opposing expert’s report that rendered it incapable of using common methods to determine restitution uniformly applicable to all proposed class members.

US District Judge William Alsup denied the plaintiff’s motion for class certification. In subsequent litigation brought individually by dotStrategy over the same issue, Judge Alsup granted Facebook's motion for summary judgment with prejudice, finding that the specific disclaimer language of Facebook's terms did not support dotStrategy’s claims.

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