Facebook's Instagram buyout cleared by Office of Fair Trading

Facebook's Instagram buyout cleared by Office of Fair Trading
The OFT has no beef with Facebook/Instagram marriage

One of the final hurdles preventing Instagram coming under the control of Facebook has been cleared, after the Office of Fair Trading gave the deal a big thumbs up.

Back in June, the OFT decided to take a look into the planned billion dollar acquisition, amid fears rival apps like Hipstamatic and Camera+ may suffer as a result.

Both sides were required to submit assurances to the regulator by last month, and it appears the OFT was satisfied enough to green light the buyout.

Had the OFT expressed a concern then the case would have been referred to the UK's Competition Commission. That now won't be necessary.

No lessening of competition

An OFT spokesperson said it had looked into whether the deal may "result in the merging parties limiting access from other sharing sources.

"While they may have the ability to do so, the evidence we received doesn't suggest that the parties would pursue such a strategy."

"We concluded that the deal would not result in a substantial lessening of competition in the UK.," the spokesperson added.

Facebook now needs similar approval from the US-based FTC before the deal, agreed in principal in April, can be officially rubber stamped.

Chris Smith

A technology journalist, writer and videographer of many magazines and websites including T3, Gadget Magazine and TechRadar.com. He specializes in applications for smartphones, tablets and handheld devices, with bylines also at The Guardian, WIRED, Trusted Reviews and Wareable. Chris is also the podcast host for The Liverpool Way. As well as tech and football, Chris is a pop-punk fan and enjoys the art of wrasslin'.