$FB Stock : Facebook Faces EU Tirade Again (NASDAQ FB)

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Facebook Inc (NASDAQ FB) and WhatsApp deal might face a new challenge as the European Union antitrust officials have sent a detailed questions to the competitors and customers of the social networker and WhatsApp. The efforts are being made to understand the difference between a social network and the messaging application.

Facebook and WhatsApp deal might go through some rough patches as EU antitrust regulators want to know the perspective of competitors and consumers. The questionnaire asks the users about the telecommunications operators, social networking sites and other Internet service providers, which according to the European commission are competitors and customers in at least one of the markets where Facebook and WhatsApp operate.

The questionnaire is 70 pages long, which is unusual raising doubts over the merger. According to one EU Antitrust lawyer, “It highlights [the merging parties’] soft underbelly.”

Facebook Inc: EU Tirade

There was no comment from the European watchdog, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) as well as WhatsApp, when asked about the rather unusual development. Back in April, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) gave a green signal to Facebook for the acquisition of WhatsApp, and at same time warned that the later will be subject to Facebook Inc’s 2012 agreement with the FTC.

Under the FTC agreement the social networking site is required to convey its customers through a notice before sharing any private information, and also maintain the privacy of consumer’s information. European Commission came up with the questions after Facebook Inc (NASDAQ FB) and WhatsApp officially informed the European antitrust body about the deal on August 29th. Back in May, Facebook sat with the European Commission to review the blockbuster deal even though WhatsApp lacked enough revenue to trigger the 28-nation bloc’s merger law.

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Facebook Inc (NASDAQ FB) Business News

The final decision over the case should be taken by October 3. European antitrust regulators usually have 25 working days, to come up with a decision, after a proposed agreement has been conveyed. If, for any reason, regulators cannot unify on the deal, then it would be a failed deal.

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