Facebook was fined a mammoth £50.5 million by Britain's competition watchdog, the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) on Wednesday.
The authority alleges while probing Facebook’s purchase of Giphy back in June 2020 the social media giant had violated an initial enforcement order.
An initial enforcement order requires companies to report specific information to the CMA, which Facebook consciously refused to do. This order is standard practice at the start of investigations into completed mergers and is designed to prevent companies from further integrating while under observation.
The CMA, according to their senior director of mergers Joel Bamford, had repeatedly warned Facebook that they would suffer legal consequences for failing to comply with this order. Despite these warnings, and Facebook losing not one but two separate court appeals over the order, they continued to defy the order.
Facebook accordion to Bamford continued to “disregard its legal obligations.” refusing to provide the needed information. They were even charged another £500,000 in addition to the existing £50.5 million fine for changing their chief compliance officer twice without the CMA’s consent.
Bamford went on to say that this should “serve as a warning to any company that thinks it is above the law”.
Facebook has issued a public statement about this, stating that: “We strongly disagree with the CMA’s unfair decision to punish Facebook for a best-effort compliance approach, which the CMA itself ultimately approved”