The British Competition and Markets Authority announced on Wednesday that it has fined Facebook $69 million for its “willful failure” to provide information related to its acquisition of the animation company Giphy.
The agency said, in a statement, that it had fined Facebook 50 million pounds ($69 million) for violating an order issued during the agency’s investigation into Facebook’s purchase of the Giphy platform.
The UK Competition and Markets Authority instructed Facebook in June 2020 to continue competing with Giphy, and not to merge it with it while the investigation continues.
The authority’s statement indicated that Facebook deliberately failed to comply with the “report all required information” order, regarding the purchase that took place last year.
“We warned the company that its refusal to provide us with critical information was a breach of the order,” said Joel Bamford, senior director of mergers at the Competition and Markets Authority. “But even after losing its appeal in two separate courts, it continued to disregard its legal obligations.”
Bamford added that the fine serves as a warning to any company that believes it is above the law.
In response to a fine by the Competition and Markets Authority. “We strongly disagree with the unfair decision to penalize us for the best compliance approach approved by the authority itself,” Facebook said. “We are reviewing the CMA’s decision and considering our options.”
In addition, Facebook received another £500,000 ($690,000) fine for switching its chief compliance officer twice without asking permission.
Facebook had announced that it had acquired Giphy in May 2020, for $400 million.