The U.S. Federal Trade Commission [FTC] has cleared Facebook (FB)’s planned acquisition of mobile photo application maker, Instagram, saying “the deal may now proceed as proposed.”
After conducting a nonpublic investigation into the acquisition, which was first announced in May, the FTC voted unanimously in favor of closing its antitrust investigation into Facebook’s deal to acquire Instagram without pursuing any action, FTC said on Wednesday.
The move, which comes about a week after the U.K. Office of Fair Trading cleared the deal, frees Facebook to complete its $1 billion proposed purchase of the online photo-sharing company, the biggest acquisition in its history.
April J. Tabor, Acting Secretary for the FTC’s letter to Councel for Instagram read in part as follows:
“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 Commission reserves the right to take such further action as the public interest may require.”
The same letter was sent to Councel for Facebook.
Through a spokesman, Facebook said it was “pleased that the Federal Trade Commission has cleared the transaction after its careful and thorough review.”
Back in April, Facebook offered to acquire the entire issued share capital of Instagram for $300 million in cash and roughly 23 million shares of Facebook common stock at a price of $30 per share. However, the acquisition is currently valued at $747 million, based on the $19.44 closing price of Facebook’s shares on Wednesday, giving FB stock, which has lost nearly 50% of its market value following the social-network’s May $38 IPO, a value of about $447 million.
It’s unclear how long before the actual merger is finalized.
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