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The Federal Trade Commission has voted to close its investigation of Facebook’s (NASDAQ:FB) acquisition of Instagram, and ha chosen to do nothing to block or otherwise hinder the merger. While the FTC has reserved the right to “take such further action as the public interest may require,” it has essentially given the acquisition its blessing.
Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg claims Instagram will still share content out to non-Facebook sites, thus addressing and dispelling one of the major concerns over the purchase. He also said it would still be possible to add and share friends who aren’t connected, even after the merger.
“We’re committed to building and growing Instagram independently,” Zuckerberg said. “Millions of people around the world love the Instagram app and the brand associated with it, and our goal is to help spread this app and brand to even more people.”
Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram is a rare deal, given its cost and size. The smart-device app already had a user base of over 30 million before Instagram even created an Android version. And at the time the deal was announced, the cash value of the transaction was $1 billion. Zuckerberg suggested that it may be the last acquisition of its kind for Facebook: “we don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all.”
Earlier this month, the UK’s anti-trust authority also gave the merger the go-ahead. The Office of Fair Trading “does not believe that it is or may be the case that the merger may be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition within a market or markets in the United Kingdom,” it said in a statement accompanying its decision.
The value of the deal is now worth $747.1 million dollars, more than 25 percent less than when it was announced, thanks to the stock’s steep sell-off since its IPO in May. The deal will cost Facebook $300 million in cash, and 23 million shares in Facebook, which were worth $19.44 each at Wednesday’s close.
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