UK's Office of Fair Trading to investigate $1bn Instagram deal

By Leeky · 8 replies
Jun 25, 2012
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  1. The UK's Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is to investigate Facebook's April announcement of its planned $1 billion purchase of Instagram due to concerns that the social networking giant could unfairly exert control over the competition by restricting the uploading…

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  2. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TS Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    Wouldnt determining the jurasdiction be the first thing that should be done before it is even announced that an investigation is being considered? Seems more then likely that FB will just close an office down in the UK and remove themselves from the jurasdiction of the investigators if they dont want to be investigated.
  3. inventix1136

    inventix1136 TS Rookie Posts: 85   +14

    The FTC is a joke and is more of a rubber stamping organization than anything else. When was the last time it actually blocked a merger due to the fact that it would result in virtually no competition and hurt consumers? Don't say T-Mobile & AT&T because that one was due due to outrage of customers that even FTC could not ignore and FTC was forced, kicking and screaming, to say that it was not a good idea...
  4. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,136   +131

    Of course they are. The EPA is no different. They've been fining oil companies for years for not including an ethanol additive in their fuel, even though the additive they require to be mixed in doesn't even exist (google cellulosic ethanol epa requirements). Add the Department of Education, Department of Energy, Dept. of Homeland Security, etc. etc., to the list of completely useless bureaucracies.

    I could go on typing for hours about why dozens of Government bureaucracies need to be abolished. I won't, however, because I'm lazy, and this is a tech site, not a political site.
  5. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    ^ Wow. Did you two even read the article?
  6. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,136   +131

    I did, yes. Why do you ask? :confused:
  7. ^ Nope.

    Either way they are right. Don't forgot other bloated and useless quasi-governmental agencies like USADA. Being a bureaucrat in the fed is about as secure a job as you can get. Remember its all fun and games before a scandal hits. Then a few scapegoats are sacrificed and the machinations of massive government overreach and blood sucking continue.
  8. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TS Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    The FTC is doing a routine investigation. So it will prolly be rubberstamped. However the OFT cant be as corrupt as the US is can it now? (sarcasm). We all know that if there is an investigation, it will only be a surface investigation. Makeing sure paperwork is all signed ect. If the UK is hurting financially in ANY way then we will see some trumped up fines that Google would pay just to get the UK off their backs. Seems like the UK and US have the same innept ppl running their govt. offices.
    @ Inventix
    The FTC was only the finally layer on the Tmoble/ATT merger. Both Sprint and Verizon both went to court to fight this merger. A few other groups were in on the legal battle as well. I think the FTC had no choice but to call that merger as bad.
    Wendig0 likes this.
  9. lawfer

    lawfer TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,270   +91

    Simple. Facebook is acquiring Instagram, not merging with it (read here for a clearer explanation). According to Facebook, Instagram will still work they way it does and it will also be separate of Facebook. It is widely known this buyout is nothing but a move from Facebook to shift up into the mobile space; not to compete with Instagram's competitors (which there are none, really).

    The example of AT&T's and T-Mobile's (admittedly shady) deal is different than Facebook's buyout.

    While one could argue both scenarios are different but with similar outcomes (to reduce competition), the process in which each is evaluated is fundamentally dissimilar.

    While I certainly have my share of opinions regarding redundant, useless agencies and bureaus in our government, I think the comments and comparisons made towards the FTC--especially when the article is primarily focusing on the UK's OFT review of the deal--are not necessarily applicable to the situation. At the end of the day this is a protocol review, and in reality none of Facebook's direct competitors are (or were) Instagram's; acquiring it will not imbalance competition.

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