In lieu of its problems regarding fake news, hate post, and privacy concerns, Facebook Inc. has now been fined a hefty sum of money for apparently misleading regulators during its purchase of the messaging service, WhatsApp, back in 2014. According to reports, Facebook may not have been upfront with their plans and what they were capable of regarding access to WhatsApp's User Data.

Misleading information

During the review of the takeover, Facebook had informed regulators that it was technically not possible for them to automate the data matching of the two companies' user accounts.

However, less than two years later, Facebook started doing just that. Ads driven by the user's data from Facebook is apparently now appearing on WhatsApp and vice versa.

The European Commission reacted to this by informing Facebook that this was not disclosed to them prior to implementation and it was clearly not stated in the review before the purchase of WhatsApp. Following the investigation that was conducted regarding the matter, the EU slapped Facebook with a €110 million euro, or $122 million, fine for providing misleading information to regulators.

Keeping a watchful eye

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager recently announced in a speech in Bucharest that Facebook's fine will serve as a clear signal for tech companies to always comply with EU's merger rules and to be transparent in their intentions.

It was also revealed that the EU could have fined Facebook a larger amount, but they lowered the fine due to Facebook's cooperation with officials.

Vestager initiated an investigation on Facebook after it announced a privacy policy change back in August. The change meant that Facebook could now let different advertising platforms on Instagram and Facebook have access to data from WhatsApp accounts.

Facebook's response

A Facebook representative recently revealed that they have no plans to appeal the EU's decision and that they are willing just to pay the fine. The company also admitted that there were errors that were made in their 2014 filings, but none of them were intentional.

The EU, fortunately, did no overturn their previous approval of the $22 billion purchase of WhatsApp.

Facebook further stated that they "acted in good faith" during the commission's entire review process and that the recent decision should now bring the "matter to a close."

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