Facebook Nears Settlement With Alleged Distributors Of Ad-Fraud Software

Facebook is close to settling a lawsuit it brought against two developers that allegedly distributed ad-fraud software through mobile apps, according to court papers filed this week.

“The parties have engaged in extensive settlement negotiations since the inception of the lawsuit and are close to finalizing the key terms of the settlement,” lawyers for Facebook and the developers JediMobi (based in Singapore) and LionMobi (based in Hong Kong) told U.S. District Court Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong in Oakland, California.

The attorneys add that Facebook and the developers are in the process of drafting a written agreement, as well as an injunction. Other potential terms haven't yet been revealed.

On Tuesday, in response to news of the possible settlement, Armstrong rescheduled a conference in the matter from January 9 to March 26.

If finalized, the settlement will resolve a lawsuit brought by Facebook in August, when it alleged that JediMobi and LionMobil distributed malware-laden apps that generated fake clicks on ads.

The scheme allegedly generated over 40 million ad impressions from October 2018 to December 2018.

"The malware was ... designed to make the fake clicks appear to be those of a real user by falsifying user movements on the device and timing the fake clicks so that they occurred after a user would have the opportunity to view the ad,” Facebook wrote in its complaint.

LionMobi stated in August that it “never obtained any illegal income by so-called click injection fraud on the Facebook platform."

The developer added that some of its apps integrate code created by third parties, and suggested that those outside companies were responsible for any violations of Facebook's policies. LionMobi stated it learned in December of 2018 of potential problems with programs created by third parties, and subsequently removed all suspect code.

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