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Facebook Inc. has been charged by EU Antitrust regulators for providing misleading information during its takeover of WhatsApp

Social networking site Facebook Inc. has been charged by the European Union Antitrust regulators for misleading information during the American tech firm’s takeover of WhatsApp. The US-based company now faces a possible fine of 1% of its turnover. However, the objection won’t have an impact on the approval of the $22 billion merger between the two companies took place in 2014.

In August 2016, WhatApp’s privacy policy was changed. During the policy change it said, it would share the phone numbers of the users with its parent company Facebook, which triggered investigations by a number of European Union data protection agencies. Incidentally, during the acquisition, Facebook indicated that it won’t be matching the two company’s user accounts.

WhatsApp has always been considered as one of the safe platforms as it claimed it won’t share the user’s data to anyone in any possible condition. But during the August 2016 policy change the privacy of many users were hampered. Though WhatsApp provided an option to the users about not agreeing to share data, but many were unaware about that as well.

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Now the European Union antitrust regulators has sent the Facebook Inc. a statement of objection, where the Commission took preliminary view that, contrary to Facebook’s statements and reply during the merger review, technical possibility of automatic matching of Facebook users accounts with WhatsApp user’s accounts have been already existed in 2014.

With this, the EU came to conclusion that Facebook has intentionally or negligently submitted incorrect or misleading informations to the Commission. The American company has been given time till 31st January 2017 to respond to EU’s statement of objection. After that EU may impose fine on the company if its concerns are confirmed.

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