Facebook has been fined $122 million fine by the European Commission (EC) over misleading information it provided when it acquired WhatsApp during which it claimed it could not link the profiles of users on WhatsApp and Facebook.
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.”
Margrethe Vestager, European Union’s antitrust chief, 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.”
In response to the fine, Facebook 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’.’