The European Commission (EU) on Thursday slammed social media platform Facebook with $122 million fine for misleading information about its $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014.
The Commission after conducting an investigation said that the technical possibility of automatically matching Facebook and WhatsApp users’ identities already existed in 2014, and that Facebook staff were aware of such a possibility.”
In a statement released by the European Union’s antitrust chief, Margrethe Vestager, she said: ‘Today’s decision sends a clear signal to companies that they must comply with all aspects of E.U. merger rules. And it imposes a proportionate and deterrent fine on Facebook. The commission must be able to take decisions about mergers’ effects on competition in full knowledge of accurate facts.’
Facebook in response to the fine said; it acted in good faith during its interactions with the European Commission, and that it sought to provide accurate information at every turn.
The statement added that; ”the errors we made in our 2014 filings were not intentional and the Commission has confirmed that they did not impact the outcome of the merger review. Today’s announcement brings this matter to a close”
The EU sanction comes days after Facebook received a 150,000-euro fine on Tuesday by a French data watchdog for failing to prevent its users’ data being accessed by advertisers and last week the Italian antitrust authorities levied a 3 million-euro fine on WhatsApp for allegedly obliging users to agree to share their personal data with Facebook.