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Facebook's Instagram acquisition gets green light

OFT says buyout won't harm competition in the UK
Tue Aug 14 2012, 15:01
Image of Facebook logo and login screen

THE UK GOVERNMENT Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has given Facebook's acquisition of Instagram a green light.

The OFT revealed today that it won't pass details of Facebook's Instagram deal to the Competition Commission, having decided that the buyout won't stop people from uploading pictures from Instagram to web sites other than Facebook.

A spokesperson for the OFT said, "We examined this in light of them both offering social networking services, looking at potential competition in social networking services, and in the supply of photo apps and whether the merger might result in the merging parties limiting people from others using other apps or other sites."

"We concluded that the deal would not result in a substantial lessening of competition in the UK," the spokesperson added.

If the deal had been found to affect competition, it would have been referred to the Competition Commission on 23 August. However, the acquisition is still under review by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which could take up to 12 months.

Facebook announced its $1bn acquisition of Instagram in April, pledging that it will "build and grow" the photo sharing application independently.

Speaking at the time, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, "For years, we've focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we'll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests."

"We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram's strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook." µ


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