Report: Facebook asks EU to review $19 billion WhatsApp deal


Facebook has asked European regulators to review its $19 billion deal to acquire message service WhatsApp, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The company is asking the European Commission to review the deal, which could allow Facebook to avoid multiple antitrust investigations from the EU member states’ governments, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

In February, Facebook announced that it would be purchasing WhatsApp, which allows users to send messages for a yearly fee of 99 cents, for $19 billion.

Despite concerns from privacy groups who said the acquisition would change WhatsApp minimal data collection and sharing practices — a selling point for some WhatsApp users — the Federal Trade Commission approved the acquisition in April, warning the social media giant not to go back on WhatsApp privacy promises to its users.

According to the report, European telecom companies — concerned that Facebook’s market power could give WhatsApp the prominence it needs to be a replacement for wireless companies’ messaging services — have pressured regulators to investigate the deal.

It isn’t clear whether the EU regulators or individual member states will review the acquisition, the report said.