Menu
EU questions Facebook competitors over WhatsApp deal

EU questions Facebook competitors over WhatsApp deal

The European Commission sent questionnaires to companies, probing potential effects of the acquisition

Several Facebook and WhatsApp competitors were sent questionnaires by the European Commission asking them about the effect that the US$19 billion deal between the companies could have on competition, people familiar with the matter have confirmed.

Companies that were sent the questionnaire were given six days to answer the questions and were asked to respond by July 2, one person said.

Facebook's pending acquisition of messaging app WhatsApp has reportedly raised concerns with European telecommunications providers, among other companies, that are worried that the deal will allow Facebook to seize a dominant market position in instant messaging. WhatsApp said in April that it had passed the 500,000 user mark.

Before companies formally notify the Commission of a transaction, the parties can approach the Commission on how best to prepare their notification.

Facebook reportedly requested that the Commission review its pending WhatsApp acquisition in May. Companies can ask for an antitrust review of a deal to avoid several parallel reviews in member EU states.

The Commission can also send questionnaires to market participants in order to gather data about the markets concerned, including market share. This is especially done in markets where this data is not readily available or volatile.

Among other issues, the questionnaires probed how Facebook rivals manage and use personal data, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal Wednesday.

The Commission, the EU's antitrust authority, declined to comment on the matter. Facebook, which announced its intent to acquire WhatApps in February, also declined to comment.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags governmentFacebooklegalantitrustWhatsApp

Featured

Slideshows

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

New Zealanders kick-started EDGE 2018 with a bout of Super Rugby before a dedicated New Zealand session, in front of more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors on Hamilton Island.‚Äč

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session
EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018 kicked off with a dedicated New Zealand track, highlighting the key customer priorities across the local market, in association with Dell EMC. Delivered through EDGE Research - leveraging Kiwi data through Tech Research Asia - more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors combined during an interactive session to assess the changing spending patterns of the end-user and the subsequent impact to the channel.

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research
Show Comments