Reddit receives FTC inquiry on AI-related deals ahead of IPO

  • In an updated IPO prospectus on Friday, Reddit said it’s being probed by the FTC for its data-licensing practices.
  • The same week that Reddit filed for its IPO, it announced an expanded partnership with Google, giving the search giant access to data to train its AI models, among other uses.

Reddit said on Friday that the Federal Trade Commission sent a letter to the company about its data-licensing business related to the training of artificial intelligence systems.

The inquiry

The company said it had received the letter from the FTC on March 14.

According to Reddit, “Given the novel nature of these technologies and commercial arrangements, we are not surprised that the FTC has expressed interest in this area. We do not believe that we have engaged in any unfair or deceptive trade practice.” 

Also read: Italy regulator fines TikTok US$11 million for ‘French scar challenge’

The value

In February, as mentioned by Reuters, social media platform Reddit announced an agreement with Alphabet’s Google, to make its content available for training the search engine giant’s AI models.

The contract with Google is worth about $60 million a year, suggesting that  Reddit is seeking to generate new revenue amid fierce competition for advertising dollars from the likes of TikTok and Meta Platform’s  Facebook.

Earlier this week, Reddit said it was targeting a valuation of up to US$6.4 billion for its U.S. initial public offering (IPO), one of the most anticipated stock market debuts in recent years.

Jennifer-Yu

Jennifer Yu

Jennifer Yu is an intern reporter at BTW Media covering artificial intelligence and internet governance. She graduated from The University of Hong Kong with a Master’s degree in Journalism. Send tips to j.yu@btw.media.

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