Today an investigation into the proposed purchase of the photo sharing app Instagram by the social network Facebook has been ended as silently as it was started. The acquisition of Instagram was made famous earlier this year as Facebook payed a reported $1 billion dollar sum to take over the brand in its entirety. The FTC's Bureau of Competition worked with the Bureau of Economics to investigate the deal to make sure no anticompetitive business practices were taking place - they found nothing to write home about.
Now that the FTC has approved of the deal here in the United States, Facebook and Instagram may move forward - of course there's always your international regulatory groups snooping around the deal, but once the FTC has had their say, generally a deal such as this pretty much hits the afterburners. The Commission this week voted to close the investigation of the deal with a vote of 5-0 to complete - to a degree.
April J Tabor, Acting Secretary for the Federal Trade Commission's letter to Councel for Instagram read in part as follows:
"Upon further review of this matter, it now appears that no further action is warranted by the Commission at this time. Accordingly, the investigation has been closed. This action is not to be construed as a determination that a violation may not have occurred, just as the pendency of an investigation should not be construed as a determination that a violation has occurred. The Commission reserves the right to take such further action as the public interest may require."
The same letter was sent to Councel for Facebook, citing in both cases a possible violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act or Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. Have a peek at our timeline below to track this deal back to its roots, and let the Instagram flow through you, you Facebook-loving socialite!
BONUS: the image you see at the head of this post comes from a conceptual design rendering of a Facebook phone designed by Tolga Tuncer - complete with an Instagram button!