UK Fines Facebook $70 Million Over Giphy Deal
- Facebook refused to report required information, despite reiterations.
- Company fined for breaching an order of GIF platform Giphy.
- FB strongly disagrees with the CMA's unfair decision to punish for a best-effort compliance approach.
Facebook has been fined 50.5 million pounds ($70 million) by the UK Competition Commission for breaching an order issued during its inquiry into the social media giant’s purchase of GIF site Giphy. According to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), Facebook willfully disobeyed its mandate, and the penalty acted as a reminder that no firm is above the law. Regulators and lawmakers have been increasingly critical of Facebook’s business practices.
While the investigation was ongoing, the regulator claimed Facebook had failed to provide full updates on its compliance with obligations to continue competing with Giphy and not combine its operations with Giphy’s.
CMA regarded its failure to comply as deliberate. Despite several warnings, Facebook had not submitted the needed information, according to Joel Bamford, senior director of mergers at the CMA. “We strongly disagree with the CMA’s arbitrary decision to penalize Facebook for a best-effort compliance approach, which the CMA itself eventually authorized,” Facebook said in response to the CMA penalties. “We’ll analyze the CMA’s ruling and weigh our alternatives,” said the company.