A lot of people became genuinely surprised when Facebook decided to acquire WhatsApp for a huge sum of money and now, the European Commission has fined the popular social networking platform €110 million by stating that the company provided misleading information during the acquisition.
When Facebook acquired the messaging service, it told that the company will not be able to automatically link users’ Facebook account with the WhatsApp profile and few months earlier, the company updated the terms and policies that allowed the company to connect WhatsApp and Facebook together.
As a result, the European Commission has investigated the matter and decided to impose a fine on the company. It said, “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, and that Facebook staff were aware of such a possibility.”
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said, “Today’s decision sends a clear signal to companies that they must comply with all aspects of EU merger rules, including the obligation to provide correct information. 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.”
The Commission revealed that the latest fines won’t be affecting Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp. However, it said that Facebook can be fined up to 1% of the aggregated turnover of a company which means that the amount of fine is actually less than half of the amount. Few days earlier, French data authorities imposed a €150,000 fine for tracking users without consent.
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