Facebook has finally received the nod from the European Commission that has been assessing the $19 billion acquisition of messaging service WhatsApp. Google has found itself in hot water with the European authorities of late, but Facebook have avoided such struggles for now. The EU Commission has found that Facebook’s acquisition of Whatsapp will not monopolise the communcations app market, in spite of the considerable influence and population of these two communications titans.
EU Competition Commissioner Joaquín Almunia explained in a statement, “While Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are two of the most popular apps, most people use more than one communications app. We have carefully reviewed this proposed acquisition and come to the conclusion that it would not hamper competition in this dynamic and growing market. Consumers will continue to have a wide choice of consumer communications apps.”
The assessment of the deal which was set forth in February this year, under the EU Merger Regulation, focused on three areas:
- Consumer communications services
- Social networking services
- Online advertising services
Amidst opposition from telecom enterprises and Privacy regulators, the Commission investigated data concentration issues in-so-far that it can ascertain hindering of competition. Privacy concerns due to concentration of data within the control of Facebook as a result of the transaction do not fall within the scope of EU competition law, the statement said.
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In April, parallel American authorities had cleared the acquisition which will see completion within the next two months.
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(Image credit: Jan Persiel)