Recommended Reading: May 19, 2017 - eMarketer
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Recommended Reading: May 19, 2017

eMarketer’s scan of the key developments of the day, plus data to make sense of it all

May 19, 2017

Facebook Fined for ‘Misleading’ EU Over WhatsApp Deal

The European Commission has fined Facebook €110 million ($121.7 million) for providing “incorrect or misleading” information during the Commission’s 2014 examination of Facebook’s proposed acquisition of WhatsApp. Facebook had informed the Commission during the merger review that it would be unable to establish reliable automated matching between Facebook users’ accounts and WhatsApp users’ accounts. However, in August 2016, WhatsApp announced updates to its terms of service and privacy policy, including the possibility of linking WhatsApp users’ phone numbers with Facebook users’ identities.

Alibaba Earnings Miss the Mark

China-based ecommerce giant Alibaba reported earnings of RMB158.27 billion ($23.82 billion) for the yearlong period ending Q1 2017, increasing 56% year over year. That was lower than analysts’ prediction for the company. Alibaba credited the miss to a higher tax bill, as well as investments made in cloud computing and entertainment aspects of its business as it continues to branch out beyond its core focus of ecommerce.

Softbank Pumps $1.4 Billion into Paytm Parent Company

India’s One97 Communications, the parent company of mobile payment and ecommerce platform Paytm, drew a $1.4 billion investment from Japan’s telecom firm Softbank. Alibaba and Ant Financial are also among One97’s major investors. The companies appear to be banking on the growth of digital payment services and the ecommerce sector in India. Paytm also plans to open a new payments bank by the end of May, which is licensed to accept deposits of up to $1,500 from both individuals and small businesses.

UK Investigating Digital Political Advertising

In a move said to be “unrelated” to the country’s current general election campaign, UK investigation commissioner Elizabeth Denham has opened a formal investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes in the UK. The goal is to ensure that political campaigners and companies providing services to political parties operate within UK law. According to sources cited by The Guardian, the UK’s two leading political parties—Labour and the Conservatives—will each spend around £1 million ($1.4 million) to reach Facebook users alone in the run-up to the election on June 8.

Southeast Asia’s Carousell Mcommerce Platform Looks to Monetize

Singapore-based Carousell, which has established itself as a C2C mcommerce platform in several Southeast Asia markets, is now letting sellers pay to promote their listings. The move is the first step the platform has taken toward monetization.

Facebook Goes to Bat for Esports

Facebook unveiled a deal with ESL, an esports company, to broadcast games and related content, in a move that bolsters its video offerings.

Spain’s BBVA Offers P2P Payments via Messaging Apps

Financial services provider BBVA has rolled out a tool called BBVA Cashup that allows customers signed up to Spain’s Bizum mobile payment service to make instantaneous peer-to-peer payments from within messaging app such as WhatsApp, Messenger and Telegram, according to Telecompaper.

—Cliff Annicelli and Rahul Chadha

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