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Historic Fine of Meta from European Union Will Kneecap Global Innovation

Today, the European Union lobbed its latest assault against American businesses with a historic fine filed under the guise of privacy. The absurd, ten-figure fine is more than the cost of Meta’s Instagram acquisition. At the same time, the decision may end up setting in motion a complete shutdown of tech services for Europe, including WhatsApp, whose hundreds of millions of European users could lose access to the service.

“This is yet another European shakedown of American businesses. Rather than create an innovation-friendly environment for its own tech industry to grow and thrive, Europe is instead trying to suppress competition by kneecapping America,” said NetChoice Vice President & General Counsel Carl Szabo.

“Europe is cutting off its connection to the rest of the world in spite of Meta as the decision may force Meta to suspend operations in Europe, in addition to this absurd fine,” Szabo continued. “It will be unfortunate if hundreds of millions of Europeans realize they may no longer use WhatsApp to communicate with their loved ones. Such a loss of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp would be particularly damaging as many Ukrainians use these tools to inform the world about Russia’s human rights violations.”

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