The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has fined Facebook £50.5m due to breaching an order issued by the CMA during its investigation into Facebook’s purchase of the gif creation website, Giphy.
Earlier this year, an investigation was started by the CMA into Facebook’s $400m (£290m) takeover. The investigation was launched after the regulator recognized several concerns regarding Facebook’s takeover of Giphy, the largest supplier of animated gifs to social networks such as Snapchat, TikTok, and Twitter, saying its provisional view was that the social media company would have to sell it off to resolve competition concerns. CMA said that during the mentioned investigation, the social networking company “deliberately” refused to provide information proving that it was complying with an initial enforcement order (IEO). Joel Bamford, a director of mergers at the CMA, stated that “This should serve as a warning to any company that thinks it is above the law.” He further added that “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.”
Moreover, the regulator said that Facebook significantly limited the scope of the updates and consciously disregarded CMA’s repeated warnings to supply information that it was complying with the order, such an act was considered as a “major breach” from the regulator. “The CMA has issued a fine for this major breach, which fundamentally undermined its ability to prevent, monitor, and put right any issues,” the regulator mentioned.
In this regard, a spokesperson of Facebook has stated that “We strongly disagree with the CMA’s unfair decision to punish Facebook for a best-effort compliance approach. We will review the CMA’s decision and consider our options.”