Facebook has today moved one step closer in its proposed acquisition of photo-sharing app Instagram. The Office of Fair Trading in the UK has given the deal the all-clear.
The announcement was made via an RNS regulatory statement, which briefly says the OFT would not refer the deal to the Competition Commission. A spokesperson for the OFT has given us more detail:
“We examined this in light of them both offering social networking services, looking at potential competition in social networking services, and in the supply of photo apps and whether the merger might result in the merging parties limiting people from others using other apps or other sites,” he said. “In brief we concluded that there are several relatively strong competitors to Instgram which appear to pose a stronger constraint to Instagram than Facebook does.”
He would not elaborate on what other apps these might be, but there are hundreds in the app store, along with native camera capabilities on devices themselves, that would serve as would-be competition.
He further added that the OFT does not “have reason to believe that Instagram would be uniquely placed to compete against Facebook either as a provider of advertising space or as a photo service.