THE EUROPEAN UNION (EU) is asking technology firms and service providers whether they think Facebook's purchase of Whatsapp is a good thing.
Technology firms often respect acquisitions by their peers, and only occasionally complain about their rivals. The EU has sent out letters to find out how the £12bn deal affects those parties.
This is according to Reuters, and we have asked European Commission office of competition and regulation to confirm the move and the sending of letters. We also asked Facebook to comment, but it said that it would decline the opportunity while the acquisition remains uncompleted.
Reuters has reprinted sections of the questionnaire, which kicks off by asking whether the recipient is happy, sad or non-plussed by the deal.
Sad respondents, known there as the "negative" camp, are polled on why they feel that way, and are offered some reasons for opposing the deal.
"As a result of the Facebook/Whatsapp transaction, do you expect users of Whatsapp to face greater difficulties in switching to another consumer communications service/app?" it asks.
"As a result of the Facebook/Whatsapp transaction, do you expect that it will be more difficult for Whatsapp's competitors to expand their user base or to launch a new consumer communications service/app in the European Economic Area?"
The deal has been approved by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US, with the caveat that Whatsapp must stick to its current privacy practices. µ