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EU fines Facebook 110 million euros over WhatsApp acquisition

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The European Commission on Thursday slapped a 110-million-euro (122-million-dollar) fine on Facebook for providing deceptive information during a 2014 EU investigation into the company’s acquisition of the mobile messaging service WhatsApp.

The commission said that Facebook denied that there was a possibility to automatically link Facebook and WhatsApp user accounts, even though the company knew that it could be done.

The commission noted that the fine was applied because of giving misleading information, but it had no retroactive impact on the commission’s decision to allow the merger.

“Today’s decision sends a clear signal to companies that they must comply with all aspects of EU merger rules, including the obligation to provide correct information,” said EU Competition Policy Commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

Facebook reacted to the decision saying it has been “acting in good faith” during its interactions with the commission.

“The errors we made in our 2014 filings were not intentional and the commission has confirmed that they did not impact the outcome of the merger review,” a spokesperson for Facebook said.

-dpa