The EU is constantly vigilant for the encroachment of foreign products and tech into the EU market, which of course removes revenue from countries within the union and also makes competition from new companies within the union virtually impossible. It also works to ensure fairness within EU markets, making sure each and every business has a good chance of success and isn’t shoved to the side by big companies cornering the market.
So has been the case with Facebook’s massive 19 billion dollar acquisition of WhatsApp, which apparently according to phone firms would creating a text based messaging monopoly in the EU, given that Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are two of the biggest global messengers worldwide.
However, the top staff at the European Commission have given the project the go ahead, as apparently the single ownership of the two biggest messenger entities in the world isn’t going to cause that much of a problem with regards to closing out all competition.
European competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia recently confirmed that the Commission have finally decided that Facebook and WhatsApp are “not close competitors.”
“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.”
So, at least in the EU, this buyout is deemed as not being a threat to other products on the market – apparently with the purchase of WhatsApp, Facebook won’t be able to establish an unfair monopoly in the EU. Fair enough.
As for Facebook’s approach to handling their very expensive new acquisition, the company has outlined that their approach with WhatsApp will be the same as with their earlier acquisition of Instagram – the company will take a minimal approach to changing how the product works, but expertise, info and knowledge will be shared and flow equally between the two companies behind the products.
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WhatsApp is big, very big in fact, it just passed the 600 million user mark in August. An exciting prospect for Facebook, as this means that via their products the company will be connected to more people than ever before.
Facebook also purchased Oculus VR last year, with hopes to get behind the new wave of Virtual Reality systems coming onto the scene soon. Maybe Instagram, WhatsApp and Oculus Rift will all come together in one fantastic headpiece, which takes photos whilst generating fantastic 3D worlds, plus lets you send messages to all your Facebook friends whilst doing so…
One can’t help but dream.