Facebook fined GBP 50m by UK for not supplying correct info on giphy takeover

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has smacked Facebook with a £50m ($68.7m) fine for “deliberately” not giving it the full picture about its ongoing $400m acquisition of gif-slinger Giphy.

The move  – fingered by the CMA as a “major breach” – comes just weeks after the antisocial network dismissed the UK’s regulator’s initial findings as being based on “fundamental errors” and just hours after the US Dept of Justice and its Department of Labor announced separate agreements with the firm in which it will fork over $14.25m to settle allegations of discriminatory hiring practices.

Facebook first announced its intention to buy the image platform, which hosts a searchable database of short looping soundless animated GIFs – many of which are sourced from reality TV and films – in May last year. Giphy also hosts MP4 looped video clips (so users can “enjoy” audio), which it also unaccountably calls gifs. Pinterest, Reddit and Salesforce’s comms firm Slack have all integrated Giphy into their platforms so you can “react” to friends and colleagues. Facebook’s acquisition values the company at $400m.

[…]

Bamford said companies were not required to seek the CMA’s approval before they completed an acquisition but noted that “if they decide to go ahead with a merger, we can stop the companies from integrating further if we think consumers might be affected and an investigation is needed.”

He 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.”

[…]

Source: Facebook fined by UK competition body • The Register

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