EU fines Facebook €110m over WhatsApp takeover
BRUSSELS: The European Commission yesterday fined United States social media giant Facebook €110 million (RM516 million) for providing incorrect and misleading information on its takeover of WhatsApp.
“Today’s decision sends a clear signal to companies that they must comply with all aspects of European Union merger rules, including the obligation to provide correct information,” said EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
“The Commission must be able to take decisions about mergers’ effects on competition in full knowledge of accurate facts,” said Vestager.
Facebook said in response that it had cooperated with the Commission and the errors made were not intentional.
“We’ve acted in good faith since our first interactions with the Commission and we’ve sought to provide accurate information at every turn,” said a Facebook spokesperson.
“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.”
EU regulators cleared the then US$19 billion Facebook acquisition of WhatsApp in late 2014, finding no reason to believe it would dampen competition in the burgeoning social media sector.
In its statement yesterday, the Commission recalled that the merger rules require companies to provide regulators with the accurate information essential to any review. AFP