back to article Facebook fined £50m in UK for 'conscious' refusal to report info and 'deliberate failure to comply' during Giphy acquisition probe

The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has smacked Facebook with a £50m ($68.7m) fine for "deliberately" not giving it the full picture about its ongoing $400m acquisition of gif-slinger Giphy. The move – fingered by the CMA as a "major breach" – comes just weeks after the antisocial network dismissed the UK's …

  1. jonathan keith
    Mushroom

    So...

    ... when are the CMA going to forbid the merger then?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: So...

      If I read the articel correctly it can't. All it can do is forbid integration, whatever that means.

  2. lglethal Silver badge
    Facepalm

    So by being d%&ks, Facebook just added an extra 1/6 of the value of the merger on top. Well done that team...

    ($67.5 million on a $400 million purchase. Well done on that self-inflicted premium!)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And $50m is how many minutes profit?

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      A quick back of the envelope says ~14 hours. (And it's £s not $s.)

  4. Valeyard

    "This should serve as a warning to any company that thinks it is above the law."

    The fact that this sounds like a comfortably familiar bit of furniture on facebook articles probably means no

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Orange jumpsuits all round!

    So if Facebook don't pay up, is Cleggy going to prison? Pretty please?!

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Orange jumpsuits all round!

      Please CMA, make it happen.

    2. BenDwire Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Orange jumpsuits all round!

      Unfortunately the CMA don't have big enough teeth for that. The best they can do is give Clegg a mild bit of gumming ... which conjures up an image that requires mind-bleach to erase!

  6. DevOpsTimothyC Bronze badge

    Concious decision / deliberate failure

    Perhaps if the fine was a noticeable percentage of the parent companies turnover (in this case 10 to 100 times the fine) with failure to pay the fine (for any reason within 28 days, even disputing the fine) being an instruction to ISP's etc to balckhole their traffic until the issue is resolved, then these sorts of companies would pay attention.

    I doubt £50m is more than a minor cost of doing business and a sizeable portion of the £50m would have been how much it would have cost to comply with the conditions in the first place

    1. alain williams Silver badge

      Re: Concious decision / deliberate failure

      Give FB a month to comply, then double the fine. Wait another month, double again, ...

      Eventually it will cease to be loose change down the back of the FB corporate sofa.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        WTF?

        Re: Concious decision / deliberate failure

        Too soft. It's not as if FarceBook doesn't have cash on hand.

        Double it every 24 hours until it is electronically transferred.

  7. chivo243 Silver badge
    WTF?

    50 mil? small slap on the ass!

    I bet Zuck pays that much to get spanked... and likes it.

    1. MiguelC Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: 50 mil? small slap on the ass!

      I'm sure a lot of people would volunteer to spank him free of charge

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 50 mil? small slap on the ass!

        With a spiked mace!!!

  8. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    It seems all regulators have problems with fining multi-national corporations. It needs a bit of international cooperation. Perhaps the agreement on minimum corporation tax needs a rider to agree that fines should be set in terms of percentages of global annual turnover applied annually as long as the corporation is out of compliance. A corporation that's accumulated several fines of several percent each is going to start acting a bit more carefully, otherwise the shareholders and bonusocracy are going to start getting twitchy.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Not sure why you got downvoted. GDPR seems to be working well along these lines.

    2. Someone Else Silver badge

      Or...

      Or we could use the same approach that the Tejano SB8 uses: Allow anyone with knowledge of the offense to sue the "offender" for at least $10,000 (wtrh all court costs being paid by the defendant, regardless of who eventually prevails).

  9. Huw L-D

    I didn't realise the Christian Motorcycle Association had that much power!

    1. jonathan keith

      Don't fuck with the Christian Motorcyclists Association. They'll forgive you.*

      * (with extreme prejudice)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "fell off the back of a motorcylist, more likely"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They don't, but the Canadian Mental Health Association might have something to say...

    3. Someone Else Silver badge

      Well, the Country Music Awards could withhold any and all platitudes, and not let him appear on their annual show (which is coming up soon...)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is that? 5 seconds revenue nowadays? 10?

  11. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    "an unreasonable compliance burden for a global business"

    Right.

    Because it's such a bother to conform to local laws when you're sitting on billions of dollars.

    I weep for you, Zuck.

    NOT.

    P.S. : I can't recall you complaining so much in China, eh Zuck ?

    1. MiguelC Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: "an unreasonable compliance burden for a global business"

      Your comment about China is a bit disingenuous, seeing as FB is blocked to users behind the great firewall of China

      1. X5-332960073452
        Go

        Re: "an unreasonable compliance burden for a global business"

        I see that as a reason the emigrate to China ;-)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £50m

    and did they now do what they're punished for not doing? If not, this proves the fine was too low...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Far too small a fine

    Should have added a dozen zero's or better still, close them down for good.

    The world will raise a cheer if that happens.

    Zuck is a sleazy individual of the highest order. The man child needs to be taught a lesson.

  14. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    CMA

    That's $40m less to donate to organisations in swing states. Well done CMA for helping democracy.

  15. binary
    Thumb Down

    Facebook reeks despite the name change

    In the U.S., it's a common practice of failed companies to change their name in times of failure and hope that business will keep running as usual. The problems with this, though, as I see it, if they decided to call "sh*t" a "rose," the "rose" will still smell like "sh*t," so why bother?

    How about Bacefook? Zucfook? Zucwhimp? Zucwuss?

    Whatever it ends up being, it will always smell like a rose.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Facebook reeks despite the name change

      A rose isn't exactly what comes to mind...

    2. AW-S

      Re: Facebook reeks despite the name change

      I'll refer to them as WindscaleBook from now on.

      1. Slacker1452

        Re: Facebook reeks despite the name change

        I think you mean SellafieldBook :)

  16. Snowy Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Low fine

    The question for me is are they going to pay or just appeal it and if they do pay any in the end it will be a lot less.

  17. MJI Silver badge

    Need a reall punishment

    Like blocking at national firewall level

  18. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    "This should serve as a warning to any company that thinks it is above the law."

    Facebook believes that it is the law - when I tried to sign up and create a Facebook account in 2007 it rejected my attempts so I called them to try and sort out the problem. I was told that Facebook would prosecute me if I tried to create an account again - I was using my real name but they told me that I was a faker tried to create a fake account because my family name was not a real name.

    I was pissed off at the time but now I'm happy that social media rejected me.

    1. Martin Summers

      Re: "This should serve as a warning to any company that thinks it is above the law."

      You should have told them that you could trace your lineage all the way back to 0.1. That would have shown 'em.

  19. Potemkine! Silver badge

    That's harsh. Zuck will have less bank notes in his gold plated toilet to wipe his arse.

  20. Winkypop Silver badge
    Go

    £50m Fines

    I’m good with that.

    Keep fining the bastards.

    Give all the fine money to children’s health/hospitals.

  21. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    "fundamental errors"

    "fundamental errors" in the case against them, say Facebook. Well, that can happen when one is lacking the requested information and what has been provided is incomplete to the extent of even being misleading.

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