A group, European Union antitrust regulators Thursday reportedly said it would impose a 110 million euros ($122.4 million) fine on Facebook for providing misleading information over its purchase of messaging service WhatsApp in 2014.
The commission, which acts as the EU’s competition watchdog, called the development a “proportionate and deterrent fine”. The union said Facebook had said it could not automatically match user accounts on its platform and WhatsApp but two years later launched a service that did exactly that.
“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”, the Commission said.
The group added that the fine would not reverse the Commission’s decision to clear the purchase of WhatsApp and was unrelated to separate investigations into data protection issues.
- Bola Kougbe