Facebook WhatsApp acquisition approved by EU Commission

Facebook’s deep investment into mobile and text messaging has turned even richer.

The EU Commission has now given official approval to Facebook’s $19 billion bid for WhatsApp, the popular app company that was considered to be a viable Facebook alternative. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia made the proud announcement: “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.” WhatsApp has been known for its privacy policy that values user data and doesn’t seek to gather as much as it as Facebook does. When the proposition of a Facebook acquisition of the company surfaced earlier this year, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) advised Facebook to honor the privacy policy set in place with WhatsApp users.

Facebook is no stranger to mobile. Despite the company’s 1 billion plus user base, the company wants to compete against companies such as Snapchat, and created Facebook Slingshot earlier this year in an effort to increase its own social texting experience among its own users. Acquiring WhatsApp provides an easy way for Facebook not to compete with WhatsApp directly, since Mark Zuckerberg’s company will now own one of the most lethal and most profitable text messaging apps worldwide. WhatsApp looks to bring voice calling to its app and service in the coming days and weeks.

Facebook recently moved its email capabilities from the core Facebook app to Facebook Messenger, the new app that Facebook says will increase how quickly you receive text messages on mobile from family, friends, and business contacts.

While Facebook social media rival Google has toned down its Google+ ambitions, Google intends to emerge with its own text messaging app that will likely be used with Google’s new Android One, $100 budget-friendly handsets that’ve already arrived in India as of last month. We’re curious to see how Google’s new text messaging app will stand out from Google Hangouts. Google email competitor Yahoo has purchased messaging app MessageMe, and sources say that ephemeral text messaging app company Snapchat was also interested in the text messaging company and service.


Facebook and Google are still social media competitors, with both Facebook and Google purchasing drone manufacturing companies Ascenta (Facebook) and Titan Aerospace (Google) earlier this year, and with both Facebook and Google planning to take Internet to the 5 billion unreached citizens worldwide in 2015. Facebook has been pushing more mobile ads on Facebook than ever before, and looks to go head-to-head with Google in the mobile ad space.

Facebook is one of the top companies in social media and mobile today, but Google’s new text messaging ambitions have us wondering why it is the case that Google decided to let Google+ Founder Vic Gundotra step down and reallocate its financial resources toward other projects. A social media site like Google+ would’ve provided Google with the perfect setup to best compete with Facebook.


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