European Commission fines Facebook $122 million over misleading info in WhatsApp acquistion

Posted 18 May 2017 18:16 CEST by Jan Willem Aldershoff

The European Commission has fined Facebook 110 million for providing misleading information about the acquisition of WhatsApp. The social network purchased the popular messaging app in 2014.

When Facebook asked permission to acquire WhatsApp, it told the Commission that it would not automatically connect the two user data of both services. Nevertheless, in August last year the company changed it’s terms and conditions to make it possible to share data between WhatsApp and Facebook.

In December the European Commission already objected against these practices.

“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”, said Margrethe Vestager, the Commissioner in charge of competition policy.

Facebook said in a statement the errors made in its 2014 filings were not intentional and that the Commission had confirmed they had not affected the outcome of the merger review.

“Today’s announcement brings this matter to a close,” Facebook said.┬áThe fine would not reverse the Commission’s decision to clear the purchase of WhatsApp and was unrelated to separate investigations into data protection issues, it added.

 



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