EU fines Facebook 110 million euros over WhatsApp deal
Robert-Jan Bartunek reporting for Reuters:
"European Union antitrust regulators fined Facebook 110 million euros ($122 million) on Thursday for giving misleading information during a vetting of its deal to acquire messaging service WhatsApp in 2014.
"Calling it a 'proportionate and deterrent fine', the European Commission, which acts as the EU's competition watchdog, said Facebook had said it could not automatically match user accounts on its namesake 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."
Much of Facebook's current position of strength in the market is due to their wise acquisitions of potential competitors—Instagram and WhatsApp. The upside of the WhatsApp acquisition is so high that they risked (and now received) huge fines to make it happen. A $122 million fine doesn't even make a dent in the strategic value WhatsApp provides to Facebook.
Header image from Reuters.