Facebook, Kustomer Deal Cleared by U.K.’s Antitrust Watchdog
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc.’s reported $1 billion purchase of Kustomer Inc., a New York-based customer-service software company, has been cleared by U.K. antitrust authorities after the acquisition was found unlikely to result in reduced competition.
The Competition and Markets Authority said the deal “does not give rise to a realistic prospect of a substantial lessening of competition” in any U.K. market, according to the regulator’s statement on Monday. The probe looked at a number of issues including whether the merger would increase Facebook’s data advantage in online display advertising.
“We welcome the CMA’s decision, which shows that this deal is good for competition,” the company said in a statement. “We will continue to cooperate with other regulators around the world in their ongoing reviews.”
The social media giant made the deal to bolster efforts to monetize its messaging business, which is expanding to include products that help companies interact with people via chat apps. The European Commission and U.S. regulators are examining the deal over concerns it could allow Facebook to block rival customer-service software providers’ access to its services such as Instagram or WhatsApp.
Facebook has fallen foul of a regulatory crackdown on big tech takeovers of smaller firms, partly prompted by game-changing deals such as Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram that escaped lengthy scrutiny.
The company is facing an intense probe from the CMA on its purchase of Giphy, the company that provides animated graphics to third-party websites. The deadline for a decision on the probe was extended to December.
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