June 25, 2019 / 8:18 PM / a year ago

Facebook gets Brazil fine for withholding WhatsApp data reduced to $6 mln

SAO PAULO, June 25 (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's fine for withholding WhatsApp messaging from a drug-trafficking investigation in Brazil should be reduced to 23 million reais ($6 million), a Brazilian federal appeals court said on Tuesday.

The decision overturned a fine of around 2.035 billion reais ($528 million) imposed in June 2017, which was deemed disproportionate by the federal appeals court in a trial last Wednesday.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The world's largest social network has been struggling with legal troubles in Brazil in the last few years.

In 2016, a senior Facebook executive was kept in a Brazilian jail for nearly 24 hours in what the company considered "an extreme and disproportionate measure" resulting from a dispute over a court's demand that the company provide data from its WhatsApp service.

The messaging app also became the frontline in Brazil's bitter presidential race last year, after newspaper Folha de S.Paulo had reported that supporters of far-right candidate and eventual victor Jair Bolsonaro had funded mass messaging attacks against leftist rival Fernando Haddad. ($1 = 3.8550 reais) (Reporting by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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