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EU hits Facebook with $122 million fine

May 18, 2017
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BRUSSELS – The European Union’s competition watchdog has fined Facebook (FB) 110 million euros ($122 million) for providing misleading information over its buyout of mobile messaging service WhatsApp.

The European Commission said Thursday that when Facebook informed the Commission of the 2014 buyout it said it would be unable to “establish reliable automated matching” between Facebook and WhatsApp user accounts.

But the Commission said in 2016 WhatsApp offered updates including the possibility of linking user phone numbers with Facebook user IDs.

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the fine is proportionate and serves as a deterrent.

She said “the Commission must be able to take decisions about mergers’ effects on competition in full knowledge of accurate facts.”

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