Facebook was found to have knowingly disclosed false information about the possibility of merging Facebook and WhatsApp user identities, during the merger process of the two social platforms in 2014 at a cost $19 billion.
“Today’s decision sends a clear signal to companies that they must comply with all aspects of EU merger rules, including the obligation to provide correct information,” Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said in a statement.
Vestager described the fine as a “proportionate and deterrent” warning that merger decision must be made “in full knowledge of accurate facts.”
The commission did not reverse its decision to approve the takeover.
Included in the update was the possibility of linking WhatsApp users’ phone numbers with Facebook user’s identities.