UK regulator fines Facebook parent company again for GIPHY acquisition

Meta would have breached the rules applied by British regulators in the case of the acquisition of GIPHY.


The British competition regulator (CMA) imposed on Friday a new fine of 1.5 million pounds (about 2 million dollars) to Meta, parent company of Facebook , for breach of its obligations in the framework of its merger with the specialist of short animations on internet Giphy . In October, Meta had already received a first fine of 50.5 million pounds ($68.5 million).

According to the CMA, this new sanction is related to the fact that Meta did not declare “the resignation of three employees who held key positions” or “the reassignment of their positions”, while the company was obliged to do so within the framework of the regulator’s investigation into the merger.

“This is not the first time that Meta has not informed the CMA of personnel changes, which happened several times in 2021,” the regulator added in a statement. The fine “will take into account the nature and seriousness of the offence.”

According to Meta, the employees in question were based in the United States. “We regret the CMA’s decision to fine us due to the voluntary departure of US-based employees,” a company spokesman said, adding that the company would nonetheless pay what is asked of it.

Facebook had announced in May 2020 this acquisition estimated at 400 million dollars, whose objective was to integrate Instagram, the immense library of Giphy, which allows you to search, share and create animated Gif images, widely used on the internet. At the end of November 2021, the British regulator had ordered the American social media giant to sell its subsidiary Giphy because its merger “could harm users and advertisers of the social network in the United Kingdom”.

With information from AFP

The CMA also feared that Meta would change the criteria for accessing animated images, forcing rivals TikTok, Twitter or Snapchat “to share more user data.”