In a previous bake-off with SteelHouse, Criteo had used a third-party traffic analysis tool called Telerik to analyze log-level data and claimed it found evidence that SteelHouse gamed the attribution system through a practice called cookie stuffing.
Drawing from the lawsuit it filed in June, Criteo claimed SteelHouse stuffed its own code into an iframe layered under a legitimate landing page. SteelHouse’s tracking pixel would allegedly render out of view, gain credit for the click and then collapse the browser in less than 10 seconds to avert detection.
SteelHouse’s lawsuit, on the other hand, claims Criteo “regularly injects adware into users’ personal computers, serves ad impressions through adware and buys inventory from nonreputable sources.”
SteelHouse also takes issue with Criteo’s methodology, which it claims enables Criteo to drive the highest click rate in the space and therefore maintain its plum position in a volatile public market for ad tech, “somehow outperforming its competitors by more than 400%, including Google, Facebook and others.”
SteelHouse claims it tripled its revenue in 2015 and finished the year at a $130 million run rate. This year, SteelHouse claims it will convert its CPC pricing model into flat CPM pricing based on a SaaS model with no markup on media.
Criteo provided this statement to AdExchanger: "In line with Criteo’s Corporate Communications Policy, we do not comment on ongoing legal investigations and as such will be making no comment on this matter."