Facebook to pay Rs. 7923266521 in fine!

May 19, 2017, Chennai

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Facebook is fined €110 million by the European Commission for its misleading information regarding Whatsapp acquisition and not complying with EU merger rules.  

The EU Merger Regulation obliges companies in a merger investigation to provide correct information for the Commission to review mergers and takeovers in a timely and effective manner.

This obligation applies, regardless of whether the information has an impact on the ultimate outcome of the merger assessment.

When Facebook notified the acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014, it informed the Commission that it would be unable to establish reliable automated matching between Facebook users’ accounts and WhatsApp users’ accounts. It stated this both in the notification form and in a reply to a request of information from the Commission. 

However, in August 2016, WhatsApp announced updates to its terms of service and privacy policy, including the possibility of linking WhatsApp users’ phone numbers with Facebook users’ identities.

On 20 December 2016, the Commission addressed a Statement of Objections to Facebook detailing its concerns. The Commission has found that, contrary to Facebook’s statements in the 2014 merger review process, the technical possibility of automatically matching Facebook and WhatsApp users’ identities already existed in 2014.

In reply, Facebook’s official statement reads –

We’ve acted in good faith since our very first interactions with the Commission and we’ve sought to provide accurate information at every turn. 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.

Source: RVCJ