European Union antitrust regulators have fined Facebook 110 million euros for giving misleading information during a vetting of its deal to acquire messaging service WhatsApp in 2014. As Ciara Lee reports, it's the latest in a series of legal clashes Facebook has had in Europe.
It's not even half a percent of Facebook's annual turnover. The 110 million euro fine from EU antitrust regulators is a lot less than it could have been. The Commission says that's because Facebook has cooperated fully with the proceedings. The social media giant was handed the penalty for giving misleading information during the vetting of its deal to acquire messaging service WhatsApp in 2014. Facebook ruled out automatically matching user accounts on its namesake platform and WhatsApp. But two years later launched a service that did exactly that. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EUROPEAN COMMISSION COMPETITION SPOKESPERSON, RICARDO CORDASO, SAYING: "We believe that considering all elements in the fine calculation, including the deterrence effect, the fine imposed on Facebook of 110 million euros is indeed proportionate in light of Facebook's turnover. And I would also point to the fact that the fine is the highest fine that we have ever imposed for a procedural infringement in a merger case." Facebook said in a statement that errors made in its 2014 filings were unintentional and would make no difference to the deal. But it's the latest in a string of fines imposed on Facebook. A French watchdog took 150,000-euros for failing to prevent its users' data being accessed by advertisers. And just last week the Italian authorities levied 3 million-euros on WhatsApp for allegedly obliging users to share their personal data with Facebook. ///// The fine comes after Facebook received a separate 150,000-euro fine by a French watchdog for failing to prevent its users' data being accessed by advertisers. And last week the Italian authorities levied a 3 million-euro fine on WhatsApp for allegedly obliging users to agree to share their personal data with Facebook.