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FTC gives Facebook's Instagram acquisition thumbs up

Green lights all round
Thu Aug 23 2012, 10:20

THE UNITED STATES Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved Facebook's $1bn buyout of hipster photo sharing app Instagram.

The decision, which comes just a week after the UK's Office of Fair Trading gave the buyout the thumbs up, allows Facebook and Instagram to move forward with the acquisition without fearing antitrust charges in the US.

"Upon further review of this matter, it now appears that no further action is warranted by the Commission at this time. Accordingly, the investigation has been closed," the FTC said in its letter to Facebook's attorneys.

"This action is not to be construed as a determination that a violation may not have occurred, just as the pendency of an investigation should not be construed as a determination that a violation has occurred."

Facebook's buyout of Instagram is seen by some as good move for the company, albeit expensive. The social network's shares have slumped approximately 50 percent since the firm's initial public offering in May, and it's thought that Instagram, which has 80 million users, will help to boost Facebook's poor mobile presence.

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