Facebook has been fined 59 million euros by the British regulator CMA for failing to cooperate sufficiently in an investigation into the takeover of video service Giphy.
Gifs are short, repetitive movies 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 takeover in 2020, Facebook promised that Giphy’s gifs would also remain available for other social media than Facebook and Instagram, but the British Competition and Markets Authority was not reassured. According to the regulator, despite warnings, Facebook has not cooperated sufficiently in an investigation into competition in the online advertising market.
‘Above the Law’
The British watchdog reports that it has never happened before that a company had to be fined for not complying with the rules surrounding an investigation into a takeover. The fine is, according to Joel Bamford, who is responsible for reviewing mergers and acquisitions at the CMA, “a warning to any company that thinks it is above the law”.
Facebook does not agree with the British fine and is considering next steps.