EU charges Facebook with providing misleading information during WhatsApp takeover

EU charges Facebook with providing misleading information during WhatsApp takeover
Facebook might be facing a fine of 1% of its turnover for providing misleading information to EU regulators during the takeover of WhatsApp. Being charged for misleading information by EU antitrust officials will not have an impact on the approval of the takeover, though.

The charges come after an extensive investigation into WhatsApp's policy changes, that allowed the messaging app to share user-identifiable data, namely phone numbers, with its parent company, Facebook. This violates the terms of the 2014 takeover, as Facebook then stated that the company will have no ways of linking Facebook accounts with the WhatsApp IDs of the same people.

However, the policy changes that WhatsApp introduced in August provided the means for Zuck and company to do just that. And according to the European Commission, Facebook had the means of connecting the user accounts on the two platforms during the time of the takeover, as well.


“Companies are obliged to give the Commission accurate information during merger investigations,” said Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy. “They must take this obligation seriously. Our timely and effective review of mergers depends on the accuracy of the information provided by the companies involved. In this specific case, the Commission's preliminary view is that Facebook gave us incorrect or misleading information during the investigation into its acquisition of WhatsApp. Facebook now has the opportunity to respond.”

Facebook has the time until 31 January, 2017, to respond. If it fails to do so, or the Commission's preliminary concerns are confirmed, the company might be fined up to 1% of its turnover, according to European laws.

source: European Commission via Reuters

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7 Comments

1. peegieislim

Posts: 68; Member since: Dec 14, 2016

Dictator EU must be stopped.

5. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

So Facebook misleads EU users and getting a slap on the wrist and you call the EU a dictator. Weird definition of dictator. They should have made it a big slap on the wrist (higher fine).

7. Leo_MC

Posts: 6391; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Not taking into consideration the prices of products (which are higher than almost anywhere else in the world), EU is the best place to be a consumer.

2. trojan_horse

Posts: 5868; Member since: May 06, 2016

Facebook being dubious as usual. I hope they get busted! Same goes to these lying cyber companies!!

3. Gadgetex

Posts: 185; Member since: Nov 10, 2013

Small fine for Facebook. Fine should be more like 10%. All other countries should do the same to Make them go bankrupt for privacy theft

4. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

They should also optimize their damn Applications....

6. MrElectrifyer

Posts: 3960; Member since: Oct 21, 2014

Said it from the very start, there's nothing like privacy in the hands of facecrook, especially with a pathological liar running the company...

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