Facebook Finally Punished For Anti-Competive Behavior

(PresidentialInsider.com)- Social media giant Facebook just got slapped with a massive $69.6 million fine in the United Kingdom for breaching an order that was imposed during an investigation into the platform’s purchase of Giphy, a popular GIF platform that stores a large database of animated graphics that people use in their messaging platforms.

The British Competition and Markets Authority ruled that Facebook has deliberately failed to comply with an order that required the platform to offer regular updates about its compliance with various regulations relating to anti-competitive actions. Specifically, Facebook was required to continue to compete with Giphy, despite purchasing the company, to avoid breaking anti-competition rules in the U.K.

The news comes as Facebook faces increasing pressure from regulators and legislators all over the world. Facebook regularly purchases competitors, starting with the social media platforms like Instagram, and more recently, smaller companies that help Facebook improve its services and stave off competition.

Facebook did not provide information to the British regulator, despite multiple requests.

“We warned Facebook that its refusal to provide us with important information was a breach of the order but, even after losing its appeal in two separate courts, Facebook continued to disregard its legal obligations,” Joel Bamford, the Senior Director of Mergers at the CMA, announced.

He said that the new fine should “serve as a warning to any company that thinks it is above the law.”

It’s unclear, however, what will happen if Facebook simply pays the fine and continues to break the law.

Facebook recently agreed to pay as much as $14.25 million in settling civil claims relating to its failure to adhere to recruitment rules, which was announced by the United States Solicitor of Labor Seema Nanda.

To solve these recent problems, Facebook is reportedly looking to completely rebrand, establishing a parent company to oversee its various brands – much in the same way Google launched Alphabet to oversee its brands.

Will Facebook get away with its anti-competitive practices by just setting up an umbrella company?