LONDON (Reuters) – Lyon, France’s biggest internet and technology company, has agreed to pay a record £3 billion ($3.9 billion) to settle allegations of state aid that it failed to adequately monitor social media posts.
The settlement with the European Union was announced on Friday, two weeks after the Commission published its first detailed report on Lyon’s failures.
The Commission said it had “found substantial evidence of state assistance in the form of direct payments, indirect payments, or loans from Lyon to third parties in the period 2009-2016”.
The commission also said Lyon failed to maintain records of its social media monitoring.
The report found that Lyon had a history of paying social media companies “substantial sums of money” to promote its products and that the company had also paid to promote the services of its competitors.
The European Commission said in its report that Lyon did not adequately monitor the social media activity of its users and that this may have affected the outcome of decisions.
Lyon said it “strongly rejects” the allegations in the report.
“The company will vigorously defend the actions of the Commission in the courts,” the company said in a statement.