BRUSSELS, Belgium (CCTV) — The European Commission (EC) imposed a fine of 110 million euros (122 million U.S. dollars) on Facebook on Thursday for providing misleading information about the WhatsApp takeover.
The decision was announced during a press briefing in Brussels, which came six months after the European Union’s (EU) executive arm opened a case against Facebook in December. After investigation, the Commission now concluded that Facebook has denied its capability of matching user accounts with Whatsapp’s during the merger probe in 2014.
According to the EU regulations, Facebook could have faced a fine of up to one percent of its annual sales last year, which amounts to some 250 million euros.
Thursday’s 110-million-euro fine was “both proportionate and deterrent,” said the Commission in a statement, adding that the lesser fine was due to Facebook’s cooperation during its probe.
Facebook acknowledged its infringement of the rules and waived its procedural rights to have access to the file and to an oral hearing, according to the Commission in a statement, noting that it allowed the Commission to conduct the investigation more efficiently.
The statement also said the Commission has taken Facebook’s cooperation into account in setting the level of the fine.
It added that the decision will neither revise Facebook’s takeover of Whatsapp nor affect other ongoing cases against Facebook, including national antitrust procedures and data protection issues.