Facebook fined £95m by EU over Whatsapp merger

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

  • 147.46
  • -0.52%-0.78
  • Max: 148.81
  • Min: 147.25
  • Volume: 7,532,475
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:50 23/05/17
  • 2,398.46
  • 0.19%4.44
  • Max: 2,400.85
  • Min: 2,393.88
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:50 23/05/17
  • 5,695.61
  • -0.07%-3.80
  • Max: 5,716.55
  • Min: 5,692.34
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:50 23/05/17
  • 1,058.04
  • 0.24%2.52
  • Max: 1,059.06
  • Min: 1,056.45
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:50 23/05/17

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

17:45 FX round-up: Sterling lower on the crosses as UK data weighs

Sterling ended Tuesday lower on most key pairs in a UK market sombre all day after the deadly Manchester suicide bomb attack last night.

17:43 Europe close: Stocks end higher as euro slips

European stocks ended the day on a high note on the heels of a slate of positive economic data out of the single currency bloc.

17:34 London close: FTSE 100 limps to mildly lower close after Manchester terror attack

London stocks limped to a mildly lower close as a sombre UK came to terms with the deadly suicide bomb attack in Manchester last night.

17:12 Wednesday preview: Retail display as Marks, Dixons, Kingfisher all report

Wednesday will see three big UK retail groups reports results: Marks & Spencer, Dixons Carphone and B&Q owner Kingfisher; while the focus Stateside will be on GDP and meeting minutes from the Federal Reserve.

16:12 Strong US services growth balances softer industrials, PMI surveys show

US services activity grew faster than expected in May, though manufacturing output slowed on the previous month, according to a purchasing managers' index survey published on Tuesday.

15:11 More patents and shelf space for Ventura Life breath care brand

International consumer self-care group Venture Life announced on Tuesday that it had been granted patents in Japan, Indonesia, Australia and Mexico for its UltraDEX Sensitive range.

15:06 ThinkSmart nabs Gerald Grimes from Hitachi Capital

Retail point-of-sale lease finance provider ThinkSmart announced the appointment of Gerald Grimes as chief executive officer on Monday.

15:01 Shanta makes good progress at New Luika and Bauhinia Creek

East Africa-focussed gold producer, developer and explorer Shanta Gold announced on Tuesday that first stope ore had been produced from the New Luika Gold Mine underground operation.

14:54 FTSE 100 movers: EasyJet flies higher on RBC upgrade; M&S drops before results

London's FTSE 100 was up 0.2% to 7,508.08 in afternoon trade.

14:31 Suicide bomb attack in Manchester pop concert leaves 22 dead

A suicide bomber killed 22 people, including many children, and injured more than 50 others at the Manchester Arena on Monday night after an Ariana Grande concert.