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UK Regulators Hit Facebook With £50 Million Fine After Claiming The Social Media Giant Intentionally Ignored Enforcement

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LONDON (CelebrityAccess) — The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority slapped tech giant Facebook with a £50.5 million fine against Facebook, claiming the social media giant failed to provide adequate compliance updates to the CMA regarding its 2020 acquisition of animated sticker maker Giphy.

According to the CMA, Facebook is required to provide regular compliance updates as part of the CMA’s investigation into the merger but limited the scope of the updates it provided, despite repeated warnings.

This is the first time that a company has been found by the CMA to have breached an initial enforcement order by refusing to report all the required information, a decision that the CMA views as a deliberate choice by the tech giant.

“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,” said Joel Bamford, Senior Director of Mergers at the CMA. “This should serve as a warning to any company that thinks it is above the law.”

However, the fine may be just the cost of doing business for Facebook. The company reported revenue of $85.9 billion in 2020, and net income of $29.1 billion, making the fine a rounding error on the company’s balance sheet.

In a statement provided to Reuters, Facebook said: “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.”

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