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Well, Well, Well...

Published on Oct 22, 2021

Put your grubby hands back in the ground, Big F.

Over a year after announcing their acquisition of GIF-making-and-hosting site Giphy, Facebook has been slapped with a $70 million fine in relation to an ongoing investigation by UK regulators.

It seems that back in August, the country's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an antitrust probe into the tech giant's ongoing acquisition. It subsequently issued something called an initial enforcement order (IEO), which would freeze Facebook's Giphy integration in place, essentially forcing them to continue operating as separate entities as though they were not becoming one, until the investigation could be completed.

Well, surprising absolutely no one, Facebook fucked up. Apparently, the company was supposed to update the CMA on the ways it was complying with their IEO. Guess they didn't do that! The CMA is accusing Facebook of, “consciously refusing to report all the required information.” Thus, the $70M fine. The CMA's investigation is ongoing.

Now, granted, $70M is not a lot of money for Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg loses that much whenever he sweats. Unrelated question: can robots sweat yet? Someone ask Boston Dynamics for me. Still, it's always nice to see big corporations slapped with fines of any size. It just feels good. Do you think it's actually embarrassing for them? Or is having to pay for illegally dodging government investigations just considered part of the cost of business at this point?

In any case, I'm holding out hope that something actually happens with this Giphy case. They're the one big repository of GIFs - at least that I'm aware of - on the web, and it would be a shame to see them swallowed up. We're long overdue for a win in the antitrust column, and Facebook certainly hasn't been making many friends in the last... when's the last time anyone liked Facebook?

If the UK can make this thing happen, even I'll stand up and say thank you. The US congress previously expressed its own displeasure with the acquisition, but god knows they aren't getting anything done this decade.