E.U. Fines Facebook $122 Million Over Disclosures in WhatsApp Deal

Posted in: Government & Policy at 19/05/2017 20:14

Europe’s love affair with Facebook may be coming to an end.

On Thursday, the European Union’s powerful antitrust chief fined the social network 110 million euros, or about $122 million, for giving misleading statements during the company’s $19 billion acquisition of the internet messaging service WhatsApp in 2014.

The fine — one of the largest regulatory penalties against Facebook — comes days after Dutch and French privacy watchdogs ruled that the company had broken strict data protection rules. Other European countries, notably Germany, are clamping down on social media companies, including issuing potentially hefty penalties for failing to sufficiently police hate speech and misinformation.

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Facebook will pay $122 million in fines to the E.U.
Facebook will pay $122 million in fines to the European Union, over charges that it misled regulators during its 2014 acquisition of WhatsApp. The fine, announced Thursday, is one of the largest the company has had to pay to any government.

European regulators said Facebook was not honest about its ability to identify users who had both Facebook and WhatsApp accounts and link those accounts. At the time of the merger review, regulators were particularly concerned that WhatsApp users would have their information shared with Facebook without their consent.

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Facebook has been fined €110m (£94m) by the EU for providing misleading information about its 2014 takeover of WhatsApp.

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