By Jorge Valero
(EurActiv) — The Continent Commission could fine Facebook up to €170 trillion after it accused the social media superhuman of providing misleading information during its gain of WhatsApp.
The executive said on Tues (20 December) that it has “concerns that Facebook purposely, or negligently, submitted incorrect or deceptive information to the Commission” in regards to the unification of the users’ accounts after the coup.
When the institution reviewed the contingency in 2014, the Commission was concerned astir the possibility of Facebook matching its owner’ accounts with WhatsApp purchaser’ phone numbers.
Facebook aforementioned it would be unable to give an machine-driven matching between the two companies’ render a reckoning for.
WhatsApp updated its terms of function to begin sharing names and sound numbers with its parent partnership in August 2016.
The announcement provoked a immense backlash from users, who already had solitude concerns after the $22 jillion buyout was announced.
The Commission credence in that the technical possibility of mechanically matching the users’ accounts of both society already existed back in 2014.
“The Authorization’s preliminary view is that Facebook gave us erroneous or misleading information during the controversy into its acquisition of WhatsApp. Facebook now has the fighting chance to respond,” said Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Tues.
She added that, under the EU amalgamation regulation, companies are obliged to bestow the executive “accurate information”.
Facebook now has until 31 Jan 2017 to reply. If the Commission’s advance views are confirmed, it could inflict a fine of up to 1% of the company’s bulk.
The San Francisco-based firm’s interest was $17.93 billion in 2015.
No impact on getting
The verdict will have no influence on the Commission’s approval of the merger of the two fellowship.
A Facebook spokesperson said that the house acted “in good confidence”.
“We’ve consistently if accurate information about our practical capabilities and plans, including in concession about the WhatsApp acquisition and in freewill briefings before WhatsApp’s privateness policy update this gathering,” she added.
The company announced that it would assist with the Commission and provide all the cue requested by the EU officials.
In response to branch concerns from EU data aegis watchdogs, Facebook agreed to cutoff sharing WhatsApp users’ counsel with Facebook in order to amend Facebook products and advertising contact.
The watchdogs sent a letter to the partnership in October asking to identify what owner data was shared with the communal media company.
The watchdogs asked WhatsApp to “pause all distribution of users’ data” until they clear up whether it violates EU law.