Facebook Inc for a fine A UK watchdog worth $70m (£50.5m) has been charged for breaching an order issued during its investigation into the US social media giant’s purchase of Giphy.
In addition, the company received another fine of 500,000 pounds ($700,000) for switching the chief compliance officer twice without asking permission.
The company launched its $400 million acquisition of Giphy in 2020, and even members of Congress thought it was a bad idea.
The agency launched an antitrust investigation into the deal in August. As part of the investigation, it issued a preliminary executive order banning any further integration between Facebook and Giphy.
The initial executive order was supposed to allow companies to continue to compete as if there had been no acquisition.
The Competition and Markets Authority said Facebook had deliberately failed to comply with its order. The punishment was a warning that no company is above the law.
This represented the first time that the UK competition watchdog found that a company had violated this type of order by deliberately refusing to report all requested information, she said.
The company has come under increasing criticism from regulators and lawmakers over its business practices. She disagreed strongly with the Competition and Markets Authority.
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Facebook withheld information about the Giphy acquisition
The Competition and Markets Authority said the company failed to provide complete updates on its compliance with requirements to continue competing with Giphy and not to merge its operations with Giphy during the investigation.
She added that the company did not provide the requested information, despite multiple warnings, and it was considered that its non-compliance was willful.
“We have warned the company that its refusal to provide us with important information was a breach of the order,” said Joel Bamford, senior director of mergers at the Competition and Markets Authority. But even after losing her appeal in two separate courts, she continued to ignore her legal obligations.
Bamford’s words echo those of American labor lawyer Sima Nanda. That’s after the company agreed to pay up to $14.25 million to settle civil claims over its compliance with employment rules.
In response to a fine by the Competition and Markets Authority. The company said: “We strongly disagree with the unfair decision to sanction us for the best compliance approach approved by the body itself.” We are reviewing the decision of the Competition and Markets Authority and considering our options.