Earlier this year, Facebook announced that they were going to acquire WhatsApp for a whopping $19 billion. Naturally a deal of this size meant that regulators had to step in to make sure that everyone was legal, and so far the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US has reportedly given the deal their blessing.
However there are other regulators that need to be convinced, one of them being the regulators in Europe. In an interesting move, as reported by the Wall Street Journal (paywall), Facebook has approached the European regulators on a federal level to review the deal, thus making the first move as opposed to being summoned by the EU regulators themselves.
This is presumably because of the bad press that Facebook has been receiving in Europe, where they have been subject to criticisms regarding user data and privacy. So by making the first move and approaching regulators, it would put across the image that Facebook has nothing to hide and is open to any questions that regulators might have about the deal.
This move will also ensure that if Facebook manages to get approval at a federal level, local decisions would not have that big an impact on the deal, if at all. So far it seems that there should not be any reason to object to the deal, although it has been suggested that some parties, such as carriers, might use the opportunity to air any grievances, such as how WhatsApp has caused the amount of SMS messages to be sent.
In any case it might still be a bit too early to tell if there will be any objections laid out, but we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for more information about the deal in Europe.