Facebook-WhatsApp deal may face detailed CCI scrutiny

Facebook's $ 19 billion deal (Rs 1,16,000 crore) to acquire WhatsApp may face a

RELATED ARTICLES

detailed scrutiny by the country's fair trade regulator CCI, especially since both players have significant presence in India.

The world's largest social networking site Facebook has around 1.2 billion members globally while WhatsApp -- a platform that allows exchange of messages and files through mobile phones free of cost -- is estimated to have 450 million users worldwide.

All merger and acquisition deals, involving companies having India presence, have to get approval from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) which has the mandate to keep a tab on unfair trade practices at the market place.

A senior official said the Commission is yet to receive an application seeking approval for the deal, but it would indeed face an elaborate scrutiny.

Both Facebook and WhatsApp have substantial number of customers in India and they may soon file a notice with CCI to seek its clearance for the deal.

While India has nearly 93 million Facebook users, the count of people using the popular WhatsApp service is around 40 million in the country.

Meanwhile, concerns are already being raised in certain quarters about privacy issues post deal. Privacy groups in the US have asked American fair trade regulator FTC to put the deal on hold and probe how the social media giant plans to use subscriber data.

US-based Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) have asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate WhatsApp and enjoin its "unfair and deceptive data collection practices" for any future changes to its privacy policy.

Announcing the deal to acquire WhatsApp last month, Facebook said it would help accelerate growth and user engagement across both companies.

As per the deal, Facebook would shell out $ 16 billion, including $ 4 billion in cash and approximately $ 12 billion worth of shares for WhatsApp acquisition.

Besides, the social networking major would provide additional $ 3 billion in restricted stock units to WhatsApp's founders and employees that would vest over four years subsequent to closing.

Post new comment

E-mail ID will not be published
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

EDITORIAL OF THE DAY

  • Those willfully defaulting on loans should be blacklisted by Sebi

    As reported by this newspaper’s Monday edition, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has found merit in the Reserve Bank of India’s s

FC NEWSLETTER

Stay informed on our latest news!

INTERVIEWS

GV Nageswara Rao

MD & CEO, IDBI Federal Life

Timothy Moe

Goldman Sachs

Chander Mohan Sethi

CMD, Reckitt Benckiser India

COLUMNIST

Arun Kumar Jain

Kickstarting technological innovation

One of the key dimensions of global competitiveness is the ...

Kuruvilla Pandikattu SJ

Developing moral, spiritual capacity

Writing in The Huffington Post, Noam Chomsky, professor emeritus, MIT ...

Gautam Gupta

Manufacturing must keep workers’ welfare in mind

It may be early days yet, but the labour reforms ...

INTERVIEWS

William D. Green

Chairman & CEO, Accenture