EU regulator slaps Meta Platforms with highest-ever fine

Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META) is in focus today after European privacy regulators announced a €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) penalty on the tech behemoth.

Meta has violated the region’s GDPR

On Monday, the Irish Data Protection Commission found the Nasdaq-listed firm in contempt of GDPR – the General Data Protection Regulation of the European Union.

The regulator also told Meta Platforms to terminate “any future transfer of personal data to the U.S.” within five months to protect its citizens from U.S. surveillance.

€1.2 billion is the highest the Irish data watchdog has ever fined a company for breaching GDPR. The news arrives only weeks after the multinational reported a strong first quarter and issued upbeat guidance for the future.

Meta stock has roughly doubled since the start of the year.

Meta’s response to the regulator’s decision

Also on Monday, Meta Platforms Inc confirmed that it plans on appealing the decision and the fine. According to Jennifer Newstead, its Chief Legal Officer and Nick Clegg, President of Global Affairs:

We’re appealing these decisions and will immediately seek a stay with the courts who can pause implementation deadlines, given harm these orders would cause, including to millions of Facebook users.

Last year, the European Union “in principle” agreed with the United States on a new framework for data transfer. The new pact, though, is yet to go live.

If the said agreement goes into effect before the regulator’s deadline, Meta Platforms can continue its services in the bloc as is, Newstead and Clegg confirmed in a blog post today. Wall Street currently has a consensus “overweight” rating on Meta stock.

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