Facebook-owner Meta says it will pay new $2 million UK fine


LONDON (Reuters) -Britain’s competitors regulator mentioned on Friday it had fined Facebook-owner Meta 1.5 million kilos ($2 million) over contemporary points relating to its buy of Giphy, a sanction that the U.S. agency mentioned it would settle for.

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has taken a tricky line with main tech teams in recent times, investigating their dominance of markets akin to digital promoting and searching for to dam the Facebook-Giphy deal.

The CMA ordered Meta to promote animated photographs platform Giphy, which it acquired for a reported $400 million in May 2020, after it determined the treatments provided by the U.S. firm didn’t reply its issues over the affect to digital promoting.

It mentioned on Friday that Meta had didn’t adjust to sure elements of its necessities in regard to the dealing with of Giphy, with the U.S. agency failing to inform the UK regulator that key employees had left Meta.

The CMA described this as a “severe and notably flagrant nature of Meta’s failure to conform” with guidelines it set to verify the 2 companies have been nonetheless competing with one another, and don’t combine, whereas the regulator investigated the deal.

Friday’s announcement marks a new deterioration in relations between the U.S. tech big and the UK regulator.

The CMA fined Facebook 50.5 million kilos over different breaches in October final yr, and ordered Meta to promote Giphy. Meta is interesting the ruling to promote. It mentioned on Friday it didn’t agree with the CMA’s newest fine however would pay it.

It added that it couldn’t stop employees from leaving the corporate.

“We intend to pay the fine, however it is problematic that the CMA can take choices that would instantly affect the rights of our U.S. staff protected below U.S. regulation,” a spokesperson mentioned.

(Reporting by Kate Holton, Editing by Alistair Smout)

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