Comscore, the influential analytics firm that measures online traffic, is formally accused of having mistakenly reported its own revenue and customer numbers. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sued Comscore and its former CEO Serge Matta for fraud today. Matta and Comscore agreed to settle the case for a total of $ 5.7 million without admitting wrongdoing.
The SEC writes that between 2014 and 2016, Comscore filled its public revenue records with an additional $ 50 million by misreporting the value of data exchange contracts with other companies. It also claims misreported customer numbers and growth rates, and gave the impression that new enrollments and revenue growth increased when the opposite was actually true.
As part of the settlement, Comscore and Matta will pay $ 5 million and $ 700,000, respectively. . The carpet will also repay $ 2.1
This is an important step in a protracted controversy. The Wall Street Journal first reported on Comscore's outlined accounts in late 2015, noting that the barter system "warrants scrutiny." Comscore began an audit in 2016 – which led to years of instability when it corrected the false the numbers, including a temporary delisting from Nasdaq. A March 2018 filing revealed that it was cooperating with the SEC on an investigation. Earlier this year, the company's CEO Bryan Wiener and President Sarah Hofstetter both resigned due to "irreconcilable differences." Matta left the company in 2016.
Despite these problems, Comscore is one of the core companies responsible for measuring online success – similar to Nielsen ratings for television.