Facebook fined £95m by EU over Whatsapp merger

Conor Coyle Sharecast | 18 May, 2017 12:32 | | |

  • 168.22
  • 0.78%1.31
  • Max: 168.67
  • Min: 166.21
  • Volume: 8,751,464
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:35 18/08/17
  • 2,432.92
  • -1.43%-35.19
  • Max: 2,435.96
  • Min: 2,420.69
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:30 18/08/17
  • 5,816.38
  • 0.35%20.07
  • Max: 5,826.46
  • Min: 5,770.14
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:35 18/08/17
  • 1,077.13
  • -1.41%-15.45
  • Max: 1,078.38
  • Min: 1,071.79
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:30 18/08/17

The EU's executive branch has continued its crackdown on US tech firms after fining Facebook €110m (£95m) for providing misleading information during its acquisition of popular messaging app Whatsapp in 2014.

The European Commission found that Facebook had broken an agreement it made during the merger which meant that the social network and messaging app could not match user accounts.

Facebook announced in August of last year that it was altering its privacy policy so that it would include the ability of linking users' social media profile and phone numbers through Whatsapp.

Vestager's office has taken a tough stance on mergers and acquisitions in the past

"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.

Competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that this action amounted to misleading information on the social media company’s part.

"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,” Vestager said.

Vestager's office has taken a tough stance on mergers and acquisitions in the past, as well as other cases involving US companies, such as Apple.

The iPhone maker was ordered to pay back €13bn to the Irish government after the Commission found that it had underpaid taxes to the state for years.

More news

17:27 Weeky review

The FTSE 100 finished the week almost flat, up 17.5 points or 0.24%, at 7,323.98.

17:22 London close: Risk aversion grips FTSE, stocks lower on Trump and Barcelona attacks

London's FTSE 100 index fell below a key technical level as Friday's session wore on, with travel stocks leading the retreat after the terror attacks in Barcelona and the large cabal of overseas focused companies hit by the dollar's weakness amid renewed concerns about the US Presidency.

17:03 BowLeven appoints new director

AIM-listed oil and gas group, BowLeven announced on Friday that Matt McDonald would be appointed to the firm's board as non-executive director with immediate effect.

17:04 Week ahead: Not everything that happens at Jackson Hole stays there

In the coming week, the spotlight will be on the Federal Reserve bank of Kansas City's Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

16:26 Acacia remains a 'buy' for HSBC but target price slashed

HSBC cut its target price for Acacia Mining by 47% but kept its 'buy' recommendation in place as the months-long spat with the Tanzanian government still hangs over the company.

16:10 US open: Stocks flat heading into the weekend, political ruckus weighs

Wall Street is essentially flat heading into the weekend after the head of the University of Michigan's consumer confidence survey said recent events in Charlottesville were likely to take their toll on sentiment.

15:18 FTSE 250 movers: Hikma still looking ill; Kaz Minerals buffs up

Hikma Pharmaceuticals shares continued their downward spiral as HSBC slashed their target price, telling clients its first half numbers contained lower guidance for generics and a tougher outlook for injectables and branded drugs.

14:56 Calpine agrees to be acquired for $5.6bn in cash

Shares of Calpine Corporation surged after news broke that the American power generation company had agreed to be acquired by a consortium led by Energy Capital Partners.

14:27 FTSE 100 movers: Airline shares down after Barcelona attack; Upgrade boost for Mondi, RSA

The Barcelona attack and disintegrating relationship between US President Donald Trump and the business community made for a very heavy splash of red among the Footsie on Friday.

14:16 AppScatter eyes IPO in early September

AppScatter Group, a mobile app distribution and management platform, is drumming up institutional investor support for a flotation on London's AIM market in early September.