From the EU press release:
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “Companies are obliged to give the Commission accurate information during merger investigations. They must take this obligation seriously. Our timely and effective review of mergers depends on the accuracy of the information provided by the companies involved. In this specific case, the Commission’s preliminary view is that Facebook gave us incorrect or misleading information during the investigation into its acquisition of WhatsApp. Facebook now has the opportunity to respond.”
Specifically, the commission’s concerns center on the potential matching of WhatsApp users’ accounts with their Facebook accounts. This practice, in turn, would have set off massive privacy alarms to the commission.
However, Facebook told the commission “that it would be unable to establish reliable automated matching between the two companies’ user accounts.”
Facebook has until January 31, 2017 to respond to the formal Statement of Objections. So far today, the company has yet to comment.
Facebook shares were mostly flat in premarket trading Tuesday. Year-to-date, shares of the world’s largest social network have gained 13.93%.
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