Facebook’s seemingly unending stream of bad publicity continued this week when it was fined nearly $70 million by the United Kingdom for what is being described as a deliberate lack of compliance in an antitrust investigation.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been investigating Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy for nearly a year, and ordered the company to produce information “required information related to an initial enforcement order (IEO) placed on it by the watchdog, despite repeated requests for it to do so,” according to TechCrunch.
The Silicon Valley tech giant purchased Giphy for $400 million in 2020.
Facebook initially said it would “fully cooperate with the CMA’s investigation,” but apparently reneged on that promise.
The CMA released a harsh statement along with imposing the hefty fine.
“This is the first time a company has been found by the CMA to have breached an IEO by consciously refusing to report all the required information,” it reportedly said. “Given the multiple warnings it gave Facebook, the CMA considers that Facebook’s failure to comply was deliberate. As a result, the CMA has issued a fine of £50 million for this major breach, which fundamentally undermined its ability to prevent, monitor and put right any issues.”
It’s hardly the first time that the company has been accused of anti-competitive practices.
In August, the United States’ Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a federal lawsuit against Facebook, calling it a “monopolist.”
“The complaint alleges that after repeated failed attempts to develop innovative mobile features for its network, Facebook instead resorted to an illegal buy-or-bury scheme to maintain its dominance,” the FTC said. “It unlawfully acquired innovative competitors with popular mobile features that succeeded where Facebook’s own offerings fell flat or fell apart.”
Facebook, which is valued at over $1 trillion, owns a number of applications used by millions of people across the world daily.
Most notably, it owns photo-sharing app Instagram.
It also owns WhatsApp, Chainspace, Service Friend, and has purchased at least 78 companies during its lifetime.
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