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Facebook tries to avoid future headaches by asking EU to review WhatsApp deal

The review, if it goes ahead, could help Facebook avoid potential antitrust reviews from multiple EU member states.

Image: Ben Margot/AP/Press Association Images

FACEBOOK HAS ASKED the European Commission (EC) to review its $19 billion takeover of the messaging app WhatsApp.

The company has approached the EC to see if it would review the deal. The EC has informed the national competition authorities of the request, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The review, which could end up turning into an official investigation, could allow Facebook to avoid individual reviews from any EU member states, and avoid any surprises that might spring up.

It also faces pressure from European telecom companies who believe that WhatsApp would give it a dominant position in the instant messaging market here.

For EU authorities to review the deal, Facebook must prove that it’s under review in at least three EU countries, although its not clear if any regulators were looking at lodging investigations that could halt it.

Since Facebook has submitted a request to the competition commission, member states with permission to review the deal at a national level can veto the request for the EC to take the case.

The deal, which was announced back in February, was approved in the US Federal Trade Commission in April.

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