Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

France Fines Bloomberg €5 Mln over Falsehoods

Sun 28 Apr 2024 | 07:03 PM
Israa Farhan

The controversies surrounding the American agency Bloomberg have transcended US borders and reached Europe, where it has been fined €5 million by French regulatory authorities for disseminating false press releases.

According to the British newspaper Financial Times, the French Financial Markets Authority accused Bloomberg News, the media arm of the financial information group, of publishing false information - which the French regulatory body stated Bloomberg should have known was false - during a hearing on Friday.

This marks the first time such charges have been leveled against a media group in France.

The British newspaper added that the French regulatory body accused Bloomberg of failing to verify a false statement issued by the French construction group Vinci in November 2016, stating that "the sensational nature of this information outweighed the need for verification."

Vinci's shares dropped by about 19 percent after Bloomberg issued a false press release claiming that the company had fired its chief financial officer and would re-announce its results after discovering accounting irregularities.

The British newspaper continued that, 24 minutes after the false statement was issued, the French company Vinci "denied all the information in this fake press release" and stated that it was "taking legal action."

Individuals familiar with the situation stated that the French regulatory authority partially targeted Bloomberg due to the significant impact of its statement on the markets, along with its speed, which allowed it to release the press release before competitors.

Bloomberg claimed that "the highly sophisticated deception in Vinci's case temporarily misled a number of journalists, including some at Bloomberg News," and moments after various financial media outlets published the false press release, Bloomberg News was the first to issue a correction.

The American agency argued that the French decision seriously undermines press freedom, ignoring the serious repercussions and disastrous negative effects left by the false statement circulated by Bloomberg.

The crisis orchestrated by Bloomberg in the French markets serves as just one example of the many falsehoods propagated by the American agency, which often only denies or ignores facts and deliberately stirs controversy, using the agency as a political tool.