Business, Economics and Jobs

FTC probe will slow Facebook's purchase of Instagram


In this photo illustration, an Instagram photo of the Facebook website app is seen on an Apple iPhone on April 9, 2012 in New York City.


Justin Sullivan

The Financial Trade Commission is giving Facebook's $1 billion dollar acquisition of Instagram a good once-over, according to PC Mag.

The FTC could neither confirm nor deny the investigation, however The New York Times pointed out,  "The Federal Trade Commission always investigates acquisitions of over $66 million, which is a number tied to inflation."

In April Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg announced their purchase of Instagram, a deal which took place in less than 48 hours. According to PC Mag, in a statement Zuckerberg said, "Facebook has focused for years on, 'building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family.' The Instagram acquisition will 'offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.'" 

The agency has 30 days to conduct an initial review to make sure the deal does not break anti-competition laws, according to the New York Times.

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The investigation may put a damper on Facebook's impending initial public offering. 

CNBC noted the investigation might take anywhere from 6-12 months, however David Balto, a former policy director at the FTC who now works as an anti-trust lawyer, told them that time period is, "terrifically optimistic.”

Mark Lemley, a professor at Stanford Law School, told CNBC, "They’re going to want to take some months to investigate and understand the market and other players, and there may be more parties with an interest in submitting information.”

According to PC Mag, the FTC has asked Facebook rivals Google and Twitter for their input on the deal. It was not revealed what information it was seeking, or what impact this input would have. 

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