The European Union’s competition watchdog has fined Facebook 110 million euros (£94.5m) for providing misleading information over its buyout of mobile messaging service WhatsApp.
The European Commission said 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 says in 2016 WhatsApp offered updates including the possibility of linking user phone numbers with Facebook user IDs.
Competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said: “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.
“The Commission must be able to take decisions about mergers’ effects on competition in full knowledge of accurate facts.”
Facebook indicated that it did not intend to fight the penalty.
A spokesperson said: “We’ve acted in good faith since our very first interactions with the Commission and we’ve sought to provide accurate information at every turn.
“The errors we made in our 2014 filings were not intentional and the Commission has confirmed that they did not impact the outcome of the merger review. Today’s announcement brings this matter to a close.”