EU approves acquisition of WhatsApp by Facebook
Facebook (via Facebook Messenger) and WhatsApp both offer applications for smartphones (so-called "apps") which allow consumers to communicate by sending text, photo, voice and video messages.
The Commission found that Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are not close competitors and that consumers would continue to have a wide choice of alternative consumer communications apps after the transaction. Although consumer communications apps are characterised by network effects, the investigation showed that the merged entity would continue to face sufficient competition after the merger.
Commission Vice President in charge of competition policy, Joaquín Almunia, said: “Consumer communications apps keep European citizens connected and are becoming increasingly popular. While Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are two of the most popular apps, most people use more than one communications app. We have carefully reviewed this proposed acquisition and come to the conclusion that it would not hamper competition in this dynamic and growing market. Consumers will continue to have a wide choice of consumer communications apps." ■