The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has given the green light for Facebook to acquire photo-sharing service Instagram at $1 billion.
The go-ahead means Facebook and Instagram can now proceed with the buyout without fears of antirust accusations against them in the US.
In a letter addressed to Facebook’s attorneys, the FTC said,
Upon further review of this matter, it now appears that no further action is warranted by the Commission at this time. Accordingly, the investigation has been closed. This action is not to be construed as a determination that a violation may not have occurred, just as the pendency of an investigation should not be construed as a determination that a violation has occurred.
The Instagram acquisition, while expensive, is a good move for Facebook, the world’s largest social networking company.
Its shares have slid down around half its initial public offering (IPO) in May, and Instagram, which boasts around 80 million users, could help promote Facebook’s presence in mobile devices.
Facebook revealed its Instagram acquisition for $1 billion back in April, and swore to “build and grow” the photo sharing app independently.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the time,
For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.
We believe these are different experiences that complement each other. But in order to do this well, we need to be mindful about keeping and building on Instagram’s strengths and features rather than just trying to integrate everything into Facebook.
Image: Karl Nilsson via Flickr (CC)