FB fined £50.5m for breaching order in Giphy case

Facebook has been fined 50.5 m for breaching orders in the Giphy case.

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Facebook has been fined 50.5 m for breaching orders in the Giphy case.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), which launched an in-depth investigation into Facebook’s $400m (£290m) takeover earlier this year, said the social networking company “deliberately” refused to supply information proving that it was complying with an initial enforcement order (IEO).

An IEO means a company must stop any further integration of a business that has been acquired and allow it to compete as it would have pre-merger until the CMA completes its investigation.

The regulator said Facebook “significantly limited” the scope of the updates it was meant to provide proving it was complying with the order despite repeated warnings.

Issues identified by the CMA include Facebook cutting off the supply of gifs to rivals, demanding more data from Giphy’s customers to keep using the service, and the removal of a potential competitor from the £5.5bn UK digital display advertising market, where Facebook is the biggest player accounting for more than half the market.

The Facebook-Giphy deal is also being investigated in Australia and Austria, the latter of which fined Facebook €9.6m (£8.1m) in July for failing to notify the Austrian competition regulator of the acquisition.