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Facebook Fined $93 Million

Adding to the pile of unpaid bills on Mark Zuckerberg’s side-table is the latest fine for Facebook, this time dealt out by the UK competition watchdog for deliberately withholding information regarding the antitrust probe in its acquisition of Giphy.

The U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority ruled that Facebook was “consciously refusing to report all the required information” during the investigation. They fined the company £50.5 million for the breach.

Not surprisingly, the practice was deemed perfectly fine by the self-appointed Facebook Oversight Board.

“This is the first time a company has been found by the CMA to have breached an IEO by consciously refusing to report all the required information,” the watchdog writes.

“Given the multiple warnings it gave Facebook, the CMA considers that Facebook’s failure to comply was deliberate. As a result, the CMA has issued a fine of £50 million for this major breach, which fundamentally undermined its ability to prevent, monitor and put right any issues.”

Joel Bamford, senior director of mergers at the CMA, added: “We warned Facebook that its refusal to provide us with important information was a breach of the order but, even after losing its appeal in two separate courts, Facebook continued to disregard its legal obligations.

“This should serve as a warning to any company that thinks it is above the law.”

Facebook disagrees with the decision.

“We strongly disagree with the CMA’s unfair decision to punish Facebook for a best effort compliance approach, which the CMA itself ultimately approved. We will review the CMA’s decision and consider our options,” said a Facebook spokesperson.

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