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Meta To Pay $2 Million Fine In The UK

In recent times regulators have toughened up adding increased pressure on Big Tech companies as a result of their market dominance and near-monopoly states.

Last year, British regulator – the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) instructed Meta, formerly Facebook, to sell GIF-sharing platform Giphy which the company acquired in May 2020 for a reported $400 million. The regulator reached its conclusion after deciding that the solution Meta offered didn’t meet its concerns over the impact to digital adverting.

According to The Competition and Markets Authority, the reason for demanding that GIPHY be sold is because Meta’s acquisition of the online database and search engine platform could be detrimental to social media users and advertisers in the UK in the long run. According to the regulator, Meta’s acquisition of GIPHY would reduce competition between social media platforms, adding that Meta’s acquisition of the platform already took out GIPHY as a potential challenger in the display ad market.

On Friday, the Competitions and Market Authority revealed that Meta had failed to meet certain aspects of its requirement it gave regarding Giphy, adding that US-based Meta had also failed to notify the regulator that key staff had left the company. The regulator said that it was a “serious and particularly flagrant nature of Meta’s failure to comply” with the instruction it gave to ensure that Meta and Giphy continue to compete and not integrate with each other while its investigation goes on. The announcement to fine Meta has widened the already huge gap between Meta and the CMA.

Meta has been appealing the regulator’s decision since it was issued last year. Friday’s announcement came with a 50.5 million pounds fine for Meta and although the company y said it didn’t agree to the fine it said it would pay it.

“We intend to pay the fine, but it is problematic that the CMA can take decisions that could directly impact the rights of our U.S. employees protected under U.S. law”, a Meta spokesperson said adding that the company cannot prevent people from leaving the company if they wanted to.

The fine follows less than a week after Meta (formerly Facebook) reported disappointing earnings for the fourth quarter.

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