02 September 2014
| Kavit Majithia
EU anti-trust regulators have asked telecoms operators in the continent to provide feedback on Facebook’s proposed $19 billion acquisition of mobile messaging company WhatsApp.
EU regulators are attempting to
identify possible problems of the deal, including price hikes
and effects to innovation.
Regulators will speak to Facebook rivals and telecoms operators
in the region, after Facebook sought approval from the EU. By acquiring WhatsApp, Facebook will now
directly compete with telecoms operators in the mobile
The European Commission is due to provide its decision by
October 3, and will clear the deal unconditionally, demand
concessions or start proceedings into a wider probe.
EU regulators have reportedly sent a questionnaire to relevant
companies, and asked them to provide opinions on whether mobile
messaging could potentially substitute traditional voice calls,
text messages and emails.
Facebook is due to close the deal this year, after the US Federal Trade Commission cleared the
acquisition in April.