On May 19, 2017, the European Commission imposed a fine of € 110 million on Facebook for having provided misleading information in responses to requests for information during the merger control proceedings regarding the acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014. The Commission has the power to impose fines for providing misleading or incorrect information in merger proceedings, in the amount of up to 1% of a company’s aggregated worldwide turnover. This is now the first time that the Commission has used this power. The fine on Facebook is relatively high, but remained below the 1% turnover threshold, given that the Commission found mitigating circumstances, inter alia that Facebook cooperated in the infringement proceedings. Silke Heinz is quoted on the decision in Global Competition Review, see here.
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- Competition law compliance and digitization
- New publication: Knott/Zagrosek, The Company as Perpetrator – Compliance and M&A under the Planned German Corporate Criminal Sanctions Code (November 19, 2019).