When an antitrust examination is called for, it is not usually by the companies involved. But things are a little different with Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp. While Windows Phone users are still waiting for the app to make a reappearance in the Windows Phone Store the social network has called for European regulators to investigate the $19 billion deal.
This might seem a little counter intuitive at first, but while the deal has completed in the US, it’s rather a different story in Europe. Concerns have already been raised by various telecoms over the fact that WhatsApp could eat in to profits ordinarily generated from mobile to mobile SMSes. Left to run its course, there is a high chance that just about every county in the European Union will call for a separate investigation to the deal, but Facebook hopes that its appeal will actually help to speed things up.
The social networking company is proactively looking for the European Commission to give the deal the go-ahead in the EU as this would cover every single European country and avoid the need for individual countries’ investigations. Ultimately it means getting the green light for the WhatsApp deal in Europe once rather than several times. Taking this route is more likely to result in successful rubberstamping of the deal as the Commission is liable to be more neutral than separate countries.
Are you a WhatsApp user? How do you feel about the Facebook acquisition — it is a force for good, or do you foresee problems?