Facebook fined 110 million for misleading EU over WhatsApp takeover
After months of deliberation, the European Commission has ruled that Facebook intentionally mislead officials over its ability to utilize data following its acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014. As a result, the social network has been fined 110 million ($122 million or £945,000) and becomes the first company to be penalized under the Commission’s Merger Regulation law since it was introduced in 2004.The case, which was opened in December 2016, focused on Facebook’s admission that it would be unable to reliably automate the sharing of data between a user’s Facebook and WhatsApp accounts. However, in August 2016 — nearly two years after the companies had merged — Facebook announced an update to its terms of service, noting that it could link WhatsApp users’ phone numbers to their Facebook profile. The Commission filed a Statement of Objections three months later.
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