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Parliamentary questions
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28 March 2019
Answer given by Ms Vestager on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-000446/2019

The Commission approved Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp in 2014. At the time, the Commission considered that the proposed acquisition would not give rise to competition concerns even assuming that Facebook would be able to integrate WhatsApp with Facebook.

While the Commission subsequently found that the information provided by Facebook as to the impossibility of user matching was incorrect or misleading and imposed a EUR 110 million fine on Facebook on this basis, the Commission’s approval of the merger in 2014 was not affected by such subsequent findings. The approval decision also took into account a scenario in which user matching and integration would be possible when assessing the competitive impact of the transaction. There is therefore at least at first sight no ground for the Commission to look again at the Facebook/WhatsApp merger on the basis of the foreseen integration of Facebook and WhatsApp.

The Commission approved the merger unconditionally. There was therefore no condition or obligation imposed on Facebook to keep the Facebook and WhatsApp platforms separate and Facebook would not breach any commitment entered into vis-à-vis the Commission for the approval of the WhatsApp merger if it were to do so.

Last updated: 3 April 2019Legal notice