The giant social media company Facebook was found guilty and fined €110 million (about $122 million) for providing incorrect or misleading information about the merger with WhatsApp back in 2014 to the European Commission.

"Facebook to be fined €110М"

EU 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. And it imposes a proportionate and deterrent fine on Facebook. The Commission must be able to take decisions about mergers’ effects on competition in full knowledge of accurate facts.”

The issue dates back to 2016, when Facebook announced a change in the Terms & Conditions and privacy policy of WhatsApp, informing users they can link accounts on both platforms. In 2014 when the merger was happening Facebook informed the Commission that it would be unable to establish reliable automated matching between Facebook users’ accounts and WhatsApp users’ accounts, and such feature would not be available in the future. But the Commission found that not only Facebook decided to do this, the technical possibility of automatically matching accounts already existed in 2014, and Facebook staffs were aware of such a possibility.

A Facebook spokesman 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.”

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The amount of €110 million is calculated to be 1% of the aggregated turnover of both companies.