UK Fines Facebook 50.5 Million Pounds Over Giphy Takeover

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United Kingdom's competition regulator Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Wednesday, 20 October said it had fined Facebook over £50 million as the social media giant deliberately failed to provide information related to its takeover of Giphy, a animated graphics startup, reported Agence France-Presse.

In May 2020, Facebook reportedly announced that it was purchasing Giphy, a search engine and a platform that provides "stickers" and other products in GIFs format, for $400 million.

CMA said it fined the social media giant with £50.5 million ($69.5 million, 60 million euros) for intentionally denying to report all the required information about Giphy's purchase to them.

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"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, AFP reported

The CMA statement added that its action against Facebook should serve as a "warning" to any other firm which thinks it is superior to law. According to CMA, this was the first instance a company had breached this order.

Facebook, meanwhile reacted to CMA's action saying it "strongly disagrees" with the firm's "unfair decision" to punish the social networking giant "for a best effort compliance approach, which the CMA itself ultimately approved."

It added that they would review CMA's decision and act after considering options they have.

The fine on Facebook comes even as it faces severe backlash about it being aware that its sites could be harmful to the mental health of youngsters.

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(With inputs from Agence France-Presse)

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