UPDATE 1-Israel mulls fine on Facebook for buying companies without consent
Adds detail, comment
JERUSALEM, May 11 (Reuters) - Israel's Competition Authority said on Tuesday it was considering imposing a fine of about 6 million shekels ($1.8 million) on Facebook FB.O and its Israeli unit for buying two Israeli companies without the agency's consent.
It said the fine is subject to a hearing and Facebook has the right to submit its arguments to the authority's director general Michal Halperin within 60 days.
Facebook Israel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The authority said it sent a hearing letter to Facebook after it found the social media giant purchased two Israeli companies -- RedKix Inc in 2018 and Service Friend Ltd in 2019 -- without approval and contrary to Israel's Economic Competition Law.
"Facebook was obliged to report the transactions required the director general's consent since Facebook is a 'monopolist', whose market share in Israel exceeds 50%, the authority said.
Under the law, an entity which holds 50% or more in any relevant market is required to obtain the director general's consent before making any transaction that constitutes a "merger of companies", it noted.
The authority said Facebook, together with Instagram, is considered a monopoly in the market of social networks in Israel.
($1 = 3.2687 shekels)
(Reporting by Steven Scheer; editing by Louise Heavens and Jason Neely)