EU’s Vestager Says Analysing Facebook Reply to WhatsApp Probe

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said on Wednesday she was reviewing Facebook’s response to charges the US┬ásocial network provided misleading information during its bid for messaging service WhatsApp which may result in a hefty fine for the company.

The European Commission in December last year said Facebook’s statements during the regulator’s scrutiny of the $22 billion deal in 2014 were incorrect when it said that it was unable reliably to match the two companies’ user accounts.

EU's Vestager Says Analysing Facebook Reply to WhatsApp Probe

However, this was technically possible at that time, the EU Competition Commissioner said, giving Facebook until Jan. 31 to defend itself.

“We have now got the reply from Facebook and we are now analysing it,” Vestager told lawmakers during a European Parliament hearing.

The company faces a fine of as much as 1 percent of its global turnover, or about $179 million based on 2015 revenues.

Microsoft was hit with a EUR 561 million ($606.44 million) penalty in 2013 for breaking an antitrust promise to regulators, underlining how serious the Commission views procedural breaches.

WhatsApp Group Admin Arrested in Latur for Objectionable Content

An ‘administrator’ of a WhatsApp group in Latur district has been arrested for objectionable content posted on the group.

Police in Chakur tehsil of Latur district in Marathwada arrested the admin and three other members of the WhatsApp group after noticing objectionable content, including video clips posted on the group.

A police officer from Chakur police station told PTI that those arrested – Shivaji Barche, Rajkumar Telange, Amol Somwanshi and Manoj Lavhrale – will be produced before a court.

The four have been arrested and cases under sections 153, 34 and section 67 of IT Act, 2000 have been registered, he said.

Following a public outcry, the government late last month withdrew altogether the draft encryption policy. Earlier in the day, it exempted social media sites and apps users, as also net banking and password-based e-commerce, from saving data for 90 days from the date of transaction.

“There was concern about the draft in certain sections. When I went through the draft policy, I found that there were two-three words which were giving rise to unnecessary misgivings,” said Communications and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

“Hence I have directed the department to withdraw the draft policy, review it and then make it clear that on whom it is applicable and on whom it is not,” he said.