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UK fines Facebook £50.5 million over Giphy takeover breach

Published Oct 20, 2021 9:04 pm

Britain's competition watchdog said Wednesday, Oct. 20, it had fined the social network giant Facebook more than £50 million ($68 million or P3.5 billion) for failing to supply information linked to its takeover of animated graphics startup Giphy.

The Competition and Markets Authority said the fine totaling £50.5 million was imposed for "consciously refusing to report all the required information" concerning the purchase last year.

"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.

"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."

Separately, the CMA has fined Facebook £500,000 for changing its chief compliance officer on two separate occasions without first seeking consent.

The watchdog added that its investigation into Facebook's takeover of Giphy remains ongoing. Facebook announced in May 2020 its purchase of Giphy for a reported $400 million. (AFP)