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UK Watchdog Fines Meta For Breaching Competition Law, Again

 |  February 6, 2022

The UK’s competition watchdog said Meta failed to inform it of key staff movements as per orders relating to the acquisition of Giphy, reported Markets Insider. 

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has slammed Facebook parent company Meta with a fine for the second time in six months for breaching orders during a probe into the acquisition of Giphy.

In October, Meta was fined more than £50m by the CMA after it “significantly limited the scope of compliance reports” relating to an initial enforcement order placed on the company as the watchdog investigated its plans to acquire Giphy.

The latest fine of £1.5m is a result of Meta’s failure to comply with CMA orders to inform the competition authority of any material changes to the business, such as resignations and redistribution of key staff.

Related: UK Fines Facebook $69M For Breaching Order During Giphy Probe

In a statement today (4 February), the CMA said Meta had failed on both accounts after three key staff members resigned and had their roles reallocated without the watchdog being informed. All three individuals had been previously included in a list of key staff provided to the CMA by Meta.

Joel Bamford, senior director of mergers at the CMA, said that this was not the first time Meta failed to alert the competition authority in advance of important changes “despite knowing they were legally required to do so”.

“Initial enforcement orders are an integral part of our mergers toolkit and ensure the CMA is able to take effective action if we find competition concerns,” added Bamford. “Breaches like this one threaten our ability to maintain the benefits of competition for people using these products and services.”

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