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Facebook’s WhatsApp deal hits a self-imposed snag

Published May 28th, 2014 6:30PM EDT
Facebook WhatsApp Deal EU

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Back in February, Facebook announced it was buying WhatsApp for $19 billion. This was a surprising move, given WhatsApp’s reputation for ensuring privacy and Facebook’s not-so-great reputation for privacy, but the two companies insisted that WhatsApp would remain independent, ad-free, and committed to privacy. 

The U.S. has already approved Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp, however the European Union wasn’t expected to review the deal because it wasn’t expected to affect Facebook’s revenue. So it comes as a surprise that Facebook is asking the EU to review the deal for antitrust issues.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Facebook is doing this to avoid multiple reviews from individual European nations, which could be more politically charged. None of the European nations have said they were planning on reviewing the Facebook–WhatsApp deal, but individual telecom companies have expressed worries about the deal giving Facebook a dominant position in the messaging market.

The EU will review the deal unless one of its member countries objects within 15 days.