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EU: Facebook misled it over WhatsApp

Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - 01:17

EU regulators charge the social network gave them misleading information during its purchase of the messaging service. As Fred Katayama reports, Facebook could face a massive fine.

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Facebook potentially facing a massive fine. EU antitrust regulators charge the social network gave them misleading information when it was buying the messaging service, WhatsApp. Facebook could be fined up to 1 percent of its revenue. At issue: WhatsApp changed its privacy policy in August, saying it would share some users' phone numbers with Facebook. The European Commission, which enforces the EU's competition rules, says Facebook back then had said it would be unable to reliably match the two companies' user accounts. A Facebook spokeswoman said, "We respect the Commission's process and are confident that a full review of the facts will confirm Facebook has acted in good faith." Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said, "I think it's an idiotic conclusion to say that any member of the European Commission believed Facebook would pay $19 billion for something that they had no ability to integrate into their existing business. That's beyond stupid." Facebook becomes the latest U.S. tech target of EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager. She has gone after Apple over backtaxes and Google over alleged market abuse. Facebook has until the end of January to respond.

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EU: Facebook misled it over WhatsApp

Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - 01:17