Comscore, an influential analytics company that measures web traffic, has been formally accused of misreporting its own revenue and customer numbers. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has today accused Comscore and its former CEO, Ser Mata, of fraud. Mata and Comscore agreed to settle the case for a total of $ 5.7 million, without allowing any wrongdoing.
The SEC writes that between 2014 and 2016, Comscore paid its public revenue publications an additional $ 50 million, incorrectly considering the value of data sharing contracts. with other companies. In addition, it is alleged that it incorrectly reported its customer numbers and growth rate, giving the impression that new registrations and revenue growth are increasing when the opposite is actually true.
As part of the agreement, Comscore and Matta will respectively pay fines of $ 5 million and $ 700,000 respectively, Matta will also pay $ 2.1
This is a major step in a longstanding dispute. The Wall Street Journal first reported on Comscore's schematic accounting at the end of 2015, noting that its barter system "required verification." Comscore began an audit in 2016 – leading to years of instability as it corrected incorrect numbers, including temporary write-offs of Nasdaq. A March 2018 document revealed that he was cooperating with the SEC in an investigation. Earlier this year, CEO Brian Wiener and President Sarah Hofsteter resigned due to "irreconcilable differences." Mata left the company in 2016.
Despite these problems, Comscore is one of the major companies responsible for measuring success. online – similar to Nielsen TV ratings.