UK, US regulators could stop Facebook bid for photo guru in its tracks
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The UK’s Office of Fair Trading has called on interested parties to make submissions about “competition or public interest issues” they think may arise following the proposed $1bn acquisition of Instagram by the social network.
OFT are concerned Facebook owned Instagram “might choke off picture uploads to other sites from the app, or else restrict other apps’ ability to upload to it,” reports Guardian.
In the US, the Federal Trade Commission is also looking to the deal with similar competition and antitrust concerns.
The free Instargam app can be used on any social network including Google+, Twitter and allows users tinker with images tints, themed backgrounds, and is wildly popular 30 million global users (at last count) including President Barack Obama and Justin Bieber.
Mark Zuckerberg announced the surprise move to purchase the photo editing guru for a whopping $1 bn in April, just before its IPO.
The steep price Zuckerberg & Co are paying for the Internet start-up clearly shows the weight it is putting on the imaging app with zero revenue streams.
But in his announcement, CEO Mark Zuckerberg insisted the social network kings ownership of the app wouldn’t endanger access by non-Facebookers.
“We need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook,” Zuckerberg said in April.
“Our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.”
Facebook also claim it doesn’t plan on blocking use by rivals like Twitter or Google +, and will allow users not share Instagram pics on Facebook if they wish.
The objection has to be raised to the UK’s OFT before July 05 so we shold know later this year if regualtors put a stumbling block in The Social Network’s golden path.