The UK's Competition watchdog has slapped a £250,000 fine on PayPal for a breach of rules following its $2.2 billion acquisition of Swedish mPOS vendor iZettle.
The Competition and Markets Authority eventually green-lighted the takeover in April after an investigation found no merit in fears that the merger would hamper competition in the UK.
The CMA penalty relates to the six-month period during which the acquisition was under investigation, effectively prohibiting marketing of the combined business in the UK. In imposing the fine, the CMA says that PayPal flouted the rules by cross-selling to customers in the UK during a pilot campaign that was intended only for French and German markets.
PayPal has expressed disappointment at the CMA's findings: “The CMA has confirmed that the alleged infractions that led to this fine were not intentional and did not have any impact in practice and they were remediated as soon as the CMA raised concerns.”
The watchdog has dismissed PayPal's plea, stating: "The CMA finds that PayPal has no reasonable excuse for its failure to comply. The CMA has carefully considered all submissions made by PayPal but does not consider that the explanations provided for its actions amount to a reasonable excuse."