Facebook fined 110 mn Euros over ‘misleading’ WhatsApp data

BRUSSELS: The European Commission on Thursday fined US online networking goliath Facebook 110 million euros ($120 million) for giving inaccurate and deceiving data on its takeover of WhatsApp.
“Today’s choice sends an unmistakable flag to organizations that they should agree to all parts of EU merger rules, including the commitment to give adjust data,” EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in an announcement.
“The Commission must have the capacity to take choices about mergers’ consequences for rivalry in full information of exact certainties,” Vestager said.
EU controllers cleared the then $19 billion Facebook procurement of WhatsApp in late 2014, finding no motivation to trust it would hose rivalry in the blossoming online networking division.
In its announcement Thursday, the Commission reviewed that the merger rules oblige organizations to give controllers the precise data fundamental to any survey.
It noticed that when Facebook advised the Commission of the securing in 2014, the organization had said it would “be not able build up solid mechanized coordinating between Facebook clients’ records and WhatsApp clients’ records”.
“Be that as it may, in August 2016, WhatsApp reported updates to its terms of administration and protection approach, including the likelihood of connecting WhatsApp clients’ telephone numbers with Facebook clients’ personalities,” it said.
Subsequent to propelling a test a year ago, the Commission “found that, in spite of Facebook’s announcements in the 2014 merger survey handle, the specialized probability of naturally coordinating Facebook and WhatsApp clients’ characters as of now existed in 2014, and that Facebook staff knew about such a plausibility.”
The Commission said Thursday’s choice and the fine would have no effect on its October 2014 freedom of the arrangement.