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Facebook fined nearly $70 million for breaching Giphy order

The company failed to provide updates about whether it was still competing with the gif platform after purchasing it, the UK's competition regulator says.

facebook-search-on-giphy.png

A search for Facebook on Giphy.

Screenshot by CNET

The UK's competition regulator on Wednesday fined Facebook £50.5 million ($69.6 million) for failing to comply with an order imposed during an investigation into the social network's purchase of GIF platform Giphy. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) probed the acquisition due to concerns that it would harm competition in the social media and digital advertising markets. 

Facebook purchased Giphy for a reported $400 million in May 2020, saying that Giphy's team would join Instagram. 

The company failed to provide full updates showing its compliance with a CMA order to continue to compete with the GIF company and avoid further integration while the investigation was under way. The watchdog said Facebook's failure to comply was deliberate because it was given multiple warnings.

"This should serve as a warning to any company that thinks it is above the law," Joel Bamford, CMA's senior director of mergers, said in a statement.

Facebook strongly disagreed with the CMA's "unfair decision," a spokesperson said in a statement emailed to CNET, noting that the company will consider its options.