The FTC has closed its investigation of the Facebook acquisition of Instagram, the deal goes ahead

The FTC has closed its investigation of the Facebook acquisition of Instagram, the deal goes ahead

The FTC has reported that its investigation into the acquisition of Instagram by Facebook has concluded, and that the deal may proceed.

Though the Instagram deal was initially valued at some $1B in stocks and cash, it is now worth something around $738M due to the falling price of Facebook stock.

The deal has not yet been completed, but the papers say that it will do so for $300 million in cash and 22,999,412 shares of Facebook common stock, which is currently valued at roughly $447M at the time of writing. That brings the total price to $747M, somewhat deflated from the original $1B deal. A final price won’t be known until the papers are signed.

The FTC:

The Federal Trade Commission has closed its nonpublic investigation of Facebook’s proposed acquisition of Instagram, Inc., without taking any action. Accordingly, the deal may now proceed as proposed.

The Commission vote to close the investigation was 5-0. The closing letters to the companies can be found on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release. (FTC File No. 121-0121; the staff contact is Christina Perez, 202-326-2048)

Among the reasons that the acquisition was approved was how popular Instagram competitors have been:

According to data provided by the parties, Camera Awesome and Hipstamatic have been downloaded more than three times more than Facebook Camera, Facebook’s camera app. Camera+ has been downloaded more than six times more than Facebook’s camera app.

Instagram has been downloaded more than 45 more times than Facebook Camera. Whilst this is an imprecise measure of market share and does not scale for Facebook Camera’s relative recent entry onto the market, it gives some indication of the availability and popularity of other photo sharing apps.

Other reasons cited by the Office of Fair Trading’s report include the fact that Instagram simply didn’t generate revenue…at all. The organization did display a misunderstanding of the reasons that Facebook wanted Instagram in the first place, though. The report says saying that not much data could be collected from users of Instagram, who spent a small amount of time looking at the app. That discounts, of course, the enormous contextual value of the location data recorded with each image, not to mention the facial recognition database that Facebook has been working on making second-to-none.

Facebook issued the following statement about the FTC’s decision:

We are pleased that the Federal Trade Commission has cleared the transaction after its careful and thorough review.

The terms of the deal are laid out in a document here.

H/t M.G Siegler

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