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Facebook gets green light for Instagram acquisition

Warwick Ashford

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved social network Facebook's proposed acquisition of mobile photo-sharing service Instagram.

The approval comes a week after the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) cleared the deal, giving Facebook the green light to complete the acquisition for $300m plus around 23 million shares.

In a regulatory filing in July, Facebook said: "The value of the equity component of the final purchase price will be determined for accounting purposes based on the fair value of our common stock on the closing date."

The FTC said in a statement that it had voted 5-0 to close its non-public investigation into the anti-trust implications of the proposed acquisition.

"We are pleased that the FTC has cleared the transaction after its careful and thorough review," said Facebook.

Announcing the planned acquisition in a blog post, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said: "We plan on keeping features like the ability to post to other social networks, the ability to not share your Instagrams on Facebook if you want, and the ability to have followers and follow people separately from your friends on Facebook."

Instagram, which was launched in October 2010, claimed recently that its community has grown to over 80 million users who have shared nearly 4 billion photos.

Facebook said in its regulatory filing that it expected the deal to close this year.

The social networking company also said that after the acquisition, it planned to maintain Instagram's products as independent mobile applications to enhance its photos product offerings and "to enable users to increase their levels of mobile engagement and photo sharing.


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