Facebook has been fined by the UK regulator CMA of EUR 59 million for failing to cooperate in an investigation into the acquisition of film service Giphy.
Gifts are short, repetitive videos with scenes from movies and TV series, for example. The videos are used on social media as a joke and to express emotions.
Immediately after the 2020 takeover, Facebook promised that Giphys gifs would remain available to social media other than Facebook and Instagram, but the UK Competition and Markets Authority was not reassured about that. According to the regulator, Facebook has not cooperated sufficiently in a competition investigation in the online advertising market despite warnings.
Above the Law
The British watchdog reports that it has never been before that a company had to be fined because it did not want to comply with the rules surrounding an acquisition investigation. The fine is, according to Joel Bamford, who at the CMA is responsible for assessing mergers and acquisitions, “a warning to any company that thinks it is above the law”.
Facebook disagrees with the UK fine and is considering next steps.