Facebook Accused Of Misleading EU Regulators in WhatsApp Takeover

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Facebook has been charged by The European commission for giving what it describes as misleading information when the company bought WhatsApp.

This year just keeps on getting worse for Mark Zuckerberg so lucky for him it only has ten days left. Facebook is already being hit from all sides because of fake news feeds and privacy concerns.

According to the allegations, Facebook falsely claimed that it would not be able to perform automated matching between user-held Facebook accounts and WhatsApp accounts. But the company did just that.

European competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager released a statement saying, “Companies are obliged to give the commission accurate information during merger investigations. 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 until Jan 31, 2017 to respond to the complaint. If found to be in violation of regulations it could be fined by the EU up to 1% of its income from 2015 which was estimated at $18 billion. So the company could be forced to pay out as much as $180 million.

Facebook released a statement saying, “We respect the Commission’s process and are confident that a full review of the facts will confirm Facebook has acted in good faith.”

“We’ve consistently provided accurate information about our technical capabilities and plans, including in submissions about the WhatsApp acquisition and in voluntary briefings before WhatsApp’s privacy policy update this year.”

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