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UK fines Facebook 50.5 million Pounds for breaching order in Giphy deal

The Competition and Markets Authority on Wednesday the fine totalling £50.5 million ($69.5 million, 60 million euros) was imposed for "consciously refusing to report all the required information" concerning the purchase last year.

UK fines Facebook 50.5 million Pounds for breaching order in Giphy deal-dnm
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London, First Published Oct 20, 2021, 7:08 PM IST
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Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has fined Facebook £50.5 million ($69 million) for a "deliberate" failure to supply information linked to its takeover of animated graphics startup Giphy.

The Competition and Markets Authority on Wednesday the fine totalling £50.5 million ($69.5 million, 60 million euros) was imposed for "consciously refusing to report all the required information" concerning the purchase last year.

As per the press note, Facebook is required, as part of the process, to provide the CMA with regular updates outlining its compliance with the initial enforcement order (IEO). It stated that the compliance reports are crucial to ensure that the CMA has oversight of the companies’ behaviour, including whether Facebook has been taking any action which might not prejudice the outcome of its investigation. The UK regulator said that the US social media firm significantly limited the scope of those updates, despite repeated warnings from the CMA.

"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," Joel Bamford, senior director of mergers at the CMA, said in a statement.

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"This should serve as a warning to any company that thinks it is above the law."

The CMA said it was first time a company had been found to have consciously breached such an order.

"Given the multiple warnings it gave Facebook, the CMA considers that Facebook's failure to comply was deliberate."

Facebook said it strongly disagreed.

"We strongly disagree with the CMA's unfair decision to punish Facebook for a best effort compliance approach, which the CMA itself ultimately approved.

"We will review the CMA's decision and consider our options." ($1 = 0.7258 pounds)

(With inputs from agencies)

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